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Chemical Engineering Research and Design

j our nal homepage: www. el sevi er . com/ l ocat e/ cher d

Review

On dimensionless numbers

M.C. Ruzicka

∗

Department of Multiphase Reactors, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Czech Academy of Sciences,

Rozvojova 135, 16502 Prague, Czech Republic

This contribution is dedicated to Kamil Admir ´ al Wichterle, a professor of chemical engineering, who admitted to feel a bit lost in the

jungle of the dimensionless numbers, in our seminar at “Za Pl´ıhalovic ohradou”

a b s t r a c t

The goal is to provide a little review on dimensionless numbers, commonly encountered in chemical engineering.

Both their sources are considered: dimensional analysis and scaling of governing equations with boundary con-

ditions. The numbers produced by scaling of equation are presented for transport of momentum, heat and mass.

Momentum transport is considered in both single-phase and multi-phase ﬂows. The numbers obtained are assigned

the physical meaning, and their mutual relations are highlighted. Certain drawbacks of building correlations based

on dimensionless numbers are pointed out.

© 2008 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Dimensionless numbers; Dimensional analysis; Scaling of equations; Scaling of boundary conditions;

Single-phase ﬂow; Multi-phase ﬂow; Correlations

Contents

1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 836

2. Two sources of dimensionless numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 836

2.1. Source one—dimensional analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 836

2.2. Source two—scaling of equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 837

3. Dimensional analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 838

3.1. How DA works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 838

3.2. Comments on DA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 839

3.2.1. Choice of variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 839

3.2.2. Variables with independent dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 840

3.2.3. Similarity and modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 840

3.2.4. Neglecting variables in DA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841

3.2.5. Limits of DA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841

3.2.6. DA versus SE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841

4. Scaling of equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841

5. Transport of momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841

5.1. Mass equation of ﬂuid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 842

5.2. Momentum equation of ﬂuid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 842

5.3. Energy equation of ﬂuid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 844

5.4. Boundary conditions: no slip and free-slip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 845

5.4.1. Normal component of free-slip BC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 845

5.4.2. Tangential component of free-slip BC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 845

∗

Tel.: +420 220 390 299; fax: +420 220 920 661.

E-mail address: ruzicka@icpf.cas.cz.

Received19 June 2007; Accepted2 March2008

0263-8762/$ – see front matter © 2008 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.cherd.2008.03.007

836 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

5.5. Multi-phase ﬂow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847

5.5.1. Microscale description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847

5.5.2. Mesoscale description (Euler/Lagrange) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 848

5.5.3. Macroscale description (Euler/Euler) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 849

5.5.4. Retention time distribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 850

6. Transport of heat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 852

7. Transport of mass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 853

8. Correlations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 854

9. Remark on literature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857

10. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

Appendix A. Concept of intermediate asymptotics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

A.1. Motivation example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

A.2. Two kinds of similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

A.2.1. Complete similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859

A.2.2. Incomplete similarity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 860

A.3. Two kinds of self-similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 860

A.4. Relation between DA and IA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 861

A.5. Beyond IA? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 861

A.6. Broader horizons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 862

Appendix B. Suggestions for using and teaching DA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 863

Appendix C. New areas in chemical engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864

C.1. Microreactors and microﬂuidics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864

C.1.1. Microsystems in chemical technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864

C.1.2. Prevailing forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864

C.1.3. Governing equations and boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864

C.2. Biosystems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 865

C.3. Multiscale methodology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 865

1. Introduction

I have always beenpuzzledwiththe plethora of dimensionless

numbers (DN) occurring in the various branches of chemi-

cal engineering. From sincere discussions with my peers as

well as with students an impression has arose that I am not

the only puzzled person in this ﬁeld. Consequently, the main

motivation of this contribution is to try to brieﬂy review DN

commonly encountered at the transport of momentum, heat,

and mass, as for their origin, physical meaning, interrelation

and relevance for making correlations. The selection of DN

is neither objective nor exhaustive, being biased by working

mainly in the area of the multi-phase hydrodynamics.

The dimensionless (nondimensional) numbers (criteria,

groups, products, quantities, ratios, terms) posses the follow-

ing features. They are algebraic expressions, namely fractions,

where in both the numerator and denominator are powers of

physical quantities with the total physical dimension equal to

unity. For example, the Reynolds number, Re =LV/v, has dimen-

sion [1], also denoted as [-].

The dimensionless numbers are useful for several reasons.

They reduce the number of variables needed for descrip-

tion of the problem. They can thus be used for reducing

the amount of experimental data and at making correla-

tions. They simplify the governing equations, both by making

them dimensionless and by neglecting ‘small’ terms with

respect ‘large’ terms. They produce valuable scale estimates,

whence order-of-magnitude estimates, of important physical

quantities. When properly formed, they have clear physical

interpretation and thus contribute to physical understanding

of the phenomenon under study. Also, choosing the relevant

scales, they indicate the dominant processes. There are two

main sources of DN: dimensional analysis and scaling of gov-

erning equations.

2. Two sources of dimensionless numbers

(DN)

2.1. Source one—dimensional analysis (DA)

Ageneral way howto formally describe the surrounding world

consists of several steps. First, for the thing under study

(‘system’), deﬁne all possible qualities of interest. Second,

select those qualities that can be quantiﬁed, i.e. their amount

in the thing can be expressed by numbers, or some other

mathematical constructs. Call these measurables the phys-

ical quantities. Choose the etalons (measuring sticks, units)

to measure each of them. Each physical quantity has four

attributes: name, notation, deﬁning relation, and physical unit

that determine its physical dimension(unit anddimensionare

often used interchangeably). The ﬁrst two are only our labels,

the second two are physically substantial. There are seven

basic physical quantities (length, mass, time, electrical current,

thermodynamic temperature, luminous intensity, amount of

substance). They are measured by seven basic units of the SI

systemof units (meter, kilogram, second, ampere, Kelvin, can-

dela, mole), which is canonical nowadays. All other quantities

are called derived quantities and are composed of the seven

basics. Depending on the research area, usually only fewbasic

quantities are used. In mechanics, we have three (length L,

mass M, time T), plus one (temperature O) for thermal effects,

if these are considered.

Having the physical quantities, we want to ﬁnd the rela-

tions among them. We either have the governing equations

(physical laws) or not. The very basic laws (axioms of nature)

cannot be derived: they must be disclosed or discovered. There

is nowhere they could be derived from: they are already here,

existing silently, demonstrating themselves through a variety

of diverse or even disparate effects. Lacking the knowledge

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 837

Nomenclature

1

a variable in DA; acceleration (m/s

2

)

b variable in DA

c concentration (kg/m

3

)

c

p

heat capacity (J/kgK)

C coefﬁcient (drag, added mass); concentration

scale (kg/m

3

)

d length, size, particle diameter (m)

D diameter (m); mass diffusivity (m

2

/s)

D

t,ax

turbulent/axial dispersion (m

2

/s)

e voidage, volume fraction of dispersed phase (-)

E bulk modulus of elasticity (=1/K) (Pa); energy (J)

f function symbol (f)

F force (N); function symbol; factor

g gravity (m/s

2

)

g

/

reduced gravity (=(L,/,)g) (m/s

2

)

h height, depth (m)

j ﬂux, of heat (J/m

2

s), of mass (kg/m

2

s)

k transfer coefﬁcient (J/m

2

s K); rate constant (e.g.

s

−1

)

K compressibility (Pa

−1

)

l length (m)

L length scale (m)

m mass (kg)

M mass scale (kg)

p pressure (Pa)

P pressure scale (Pa); period of oscillation (s)

Q ﬂow (m

3

/s)

r radius, position (m); reaction rate (kg/m

3

s)

R reaction rate scale (kg/m

3

s)

S (cross-section) area (m

2

)

t time (s)

T time scale (s)

u velocity (dispersed phase) (m/s); master quan-

tity (u)

v velocity (continuous phase) (m/s)

V velocity scale, mean speed (m/s)

x coordinate, distance, position (m)

z coordinate, distance, position (m)

Greek letters

˛ thermal expansivity (K

−1

)

ˇ concentrational expansivity (kg

−1

)

, shear rate (s

−1

)

L difference, variation

± temperature (K)

O temperature scale (K)

k heat diffusivity (z/,c

p

) (m

2

/s)

z heat conductivity (J/ms K)

z

C

capillary length (m)

j dynamic viscosity (ﬂuid) (Pas)

v kinematic viscosity (ﬂuid), momentum diffu-

sivity (m

2

/s)

˘

i

Pi-term

, density (ﬂuid) (kg/m

3

)

o interfacial tension (N/m, J/m

2

)

t time (s); stress (N/m

2

)

ϕ angle

˚ function symbol (˚)

ω frequency (s

−1

or 2¬/s); vorticity (s

−1

)

˝ frequency, its scale (s

−1

); vorticity scale (s

−1

);

ﬂow domain with boundary ∂˝

Nabla operator (m

−1

)

Others

BC boundary condition (s)

DA dimensional analysis

DN dimensionless number (s)

Hyb unit of momentum (SI) (kgm/s) =(Ns)

IC initial condition (s)

N number

O(1) order of unity

SE scaling of equations

1D one-dimensional

[] physical dimension

* dimensionless, basic DN

Subscripts

a added mass

b bulk

f ﬂuid (continuous phase); ﬂow

mix mixture

p particle (dispersed phase)

r relaxation

s, S surface, interface

w wall, interface

0 reference value

about the basic laws, we must try to ﬁnd them using the other

available methods. One such a method is DA.

Dimensional analysis consists of three steps. First, make a

list of relevant variables, the physical quantities that describe

the system. Second, convert these dimensional quantities

into DN. Third, ﬁnd a physically sound relationship (scale-

estimate) of these DNwithout helpof any governing equations

(physical laws). The mainproblemis to make the list of the rel-

evant variables that is complete and independent. Here the

science meets the art: the choice of the variables is highly

subjective, beyond any rigour. The other two steps are simple

in principle owing to the fact that DA is a rigorous math-

ematical method operating precisely on the lists of chosen

variables. DA relies on several assumptions that are needed

for the mathematical proof of its very core, the Pi-theorem.

The assumptions are the following. The physical equations are

dimensionally homogeneous. The physical equations hold for

different systems of units. The dimensions of physical quan-

tities have form of power-law monomials (dimensions like

[sin(L) −log(T) +e

M

] are not allowed). There are quantities with

independent dimensions and their list is complete. Beside

these, we tacitly presume: the problem is amenable to DA.

2.2. Source two—scaling of equations (SE)

The scaling of equations (SE) means nondimensionalizationof

the equations describing the system under study (equations

of motion, fundamental equations, governing equations, etc.).

It is a technically simple and transparent procedure, which

1

Since many symbols appear in the text, only those of general

use are listed here. At multiple meaning, the context talks. Those

of the local meaning, apply usually within one paragraph only, are

omitted.

838 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

yields the dimensionless equations and the list of relevant DN.

It does not give the relation among these DN.

The dimensionless equations have certain advantages.

They are independent of the system of units. The dimen-

sionless numbers are relevant for the problem. The proportion

between individual terms can be seen. These equations apply

to all physically similar systems, so they are useful for scale-

up/down.

The process of scaling proceeds as follows. For instance,

take the equation of linear mass-spring oscillator:

m

d

2

x

dt

2

= −kx [kgm/s

2

]. (2.2.1)

where all the four quantities (x, t, m, and k) are dimensional.

Separate them into two classes: parameters (m, k) and variables

(x, t). Choose the scales (characteristic values) for the variables,

length scale L and time scale T. Make substitution x →Lx*,

t →Tt* in (2.2.1) to obtain

mL

T

2

d

2

x

∗

dt

∗2

= −(kL)x

∗

[kgL/T

2

]. (2.2.2)

Although (2.2.2) has dimension, the quantities are sepa-

rated into dimensionless variables (x*, t*) and dimensional

parameter groups (mL/T

2

, kL). Dividing (2.2.2) by any parameter

group yields the dimensionless equation. Dividing by (kL):

m

kT

2

d

2

x

∗

dt

∗2

= − x

∗

[-] (2.2.3)

produces one DN, namely the number N=(m/kT

2

), the propor-

tion (inertia)/(elasticity).

Generally, DN show the proportion between the individual

terms in an equation correctly only when the dimensionless

variables (*) are scaled so well to be of order of unity ∼O(1).

Then the magnitude of the terms is solely represented by the

parameter groups. With the above pendulum, at the choice

L ∼amplitude and T∼period P, we have x* ∈¸−1, 1) and t* ∈¸0,

1) (one swing), which both are O(1). Consequently, Nshows the

(inertia)/(elasticity) proportion correctly.

For an equilibrium motion like oscillations, where

the both counter-acting forces are somehow balanced,

one would expect that their ratio should be unity, i.e.

N=(inertia)/(elasticity) =1. However, this is generally not true.

The particular value of Ndepends onthe choice of scales. Realiz-

ing that (k/m)

1/2

is the oscillator angular frequency ω, which is

deﬁnedbyω=(2¬)/P, thenN=(P/2¬T)

2

. For the particular choice

of the time scale T=P, we have N=(P/2¬P)

2

=1/(2¬)

2

≈0.025.

Thus, the actual force ratio is N≈0.025:1=1/40, far from unity.

The reason is that DN is a very rough estimate of the effects it

compares. For instance, at the laminar–turbulent ﬂow regime

transition in pipes, the ratio Re =(inertia)/(viscosity) is not

exactly 1, but ∼10

3

. It is therefore better to use a vague

language and say ‘low Re’ and ‘high Re’, upon strong under-

standing that everybody knows what it does mean.

Conclude that the diversity of the original four-

dimensional problem (2.2.1) described by four quantities

(x, t, m, k) is reduced to a single number (m/kT

2

) at the price of

lacking all details that are below the resolution of the scale

considerations.

3. Dimensional analysis (DA)

3.1. How DA works

Choose one physically dependent variable a and choose fur-

ther (k +m) independent variables, a

i

and b

i

, on which we

presume a depends. a

i

have mutually independent dimen-

sions, of which the dimensions of all remaining variables a

and b

i

can be obtained by combination. We want to ﬁnd the

unknown physical law, the function f, we presume it does

exist:

u = ¡ (u

1

. u

2

. . . . . u

k

; b

1

. b

2

. . . . . b

m

) [u] = [¡ ]. (3.1.1)

To reproduce the dimensions of a and b

i

, we combine a

i

in

form of power monomials:

[u] = [u

1

]

p01

· [u

2

]

p02

· [u

3

]

p03

· · ·[u

k

]

p0k

· · · ≡ A [u]. (3.1.2)

[b

i

] = [u

1

]

pi1

· [u

2

]

pi2

· [u

3

]

pi3

· · ·[u

k

]

pik

· · · ≡ B

i

[b

i

]. (3.1.3)

where the exponents p

ij

are found for each row by compar-

ing the dimensions on both sides, based on the dimensional

homogeneity of physical equations. Dividing a and b

i

by the

corresponding composites of the same dimension, denoted

for brevity as A and B

i

, and rewriting (3.1.1) in dimensionless

form for another unknown function ˚, we get

u

A

= ˚

b

1

B

1

.

b

2

B

2

.

b

3

B

3

. . . . .

b

m

B

m

[-]. (3.1.4)

This equation is usually written in the following notation

as the similarity law for ˘:

˘ = ˚(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . . ˘

m

) [-]. (3.1.5)

where the dimensionless terms (Pi-terms, similarity param-

eters) are ˘≡a/A, ˘

i

≡b

i

/B

i

. The famous Buckingham

Pi-theorem says: It is possible to get from (3.1.1) to (3.1.5).

The main gain is the reduction of the number of variables

from (k +m) in (3.1.1) to only (m) in (3.1.5). All k variables a

i

are hidden in the denominators of ˘ and ˘

i

. In mechanics,

we have only three basic dimensions, L, M, T, so that k ≤3.

Another advantage is that (3.1.5) is dimensionless. According

to experimental convenience, any quantity involved can be

used to change the value of ˘

i

. DA merely transforms f into

˚. Rewriting (3.1.5) in the dimensional form, as the similarity

law for a:

u = A· ˚(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . . ˘

m

) [u]. (3.1.6)

We see a certain progress as compared to (3.1.1): f is written

as a product of two things, f =A·˚. The ﬁrst one is the known

dimensional function A that contains the rough essence of f.

It is called the scale estimate (basic scaling, scaling law) for a,

and we write

u ∼ A = u

p01

1

· u

p02

2

· u

p03

3

· · ·u

p0k

k

[u]. (3.1.7)

The second one is the unknown dimensionless function

˚ that is the ‘ﬁne tuning’ of the scale estimate, to convert

(3.1.7) into the equality a=A·˚. Finding ˚ does not belong to

the frame of DA; this must be done by some other means (e.g.

experimentally or numerically).

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 839

As an example, consider a ﬂow in a pipe. The dependent

variable is the drag force F. The independent variables are pipe

dimensions (D, L), ﬂuid properties (,, j), and speed (V). Eq.

(3.1.1) now takes form

F = ¡ (D. L. ,. j. V) [N]. (3.1.8)

Variables with independent dimensions are D (length), V

(time), , (mass). Variables with dependent dimensions are L,

F, j. Eq. (3.1.4) applied to this example becomes

F

,V

2

D

2

= ˚

L

D

.

j

,DV

[-]. (3.1.9)

Consequently, Eq. (3.1.7) for the basic scaling becomes

F ∼ ,V

2

D

2

[N]. (3.1.10)

which is the dynamic ﬂuid pressure (,V

2

) times the cross-

section area ∼(D

2

). The correcting dimensionless term ˚(L/D,

j/,DV) in(3.1.9) is the formula for the frictioncoefﬁcient C(L/D,

Re), which remains for experiments. DA thus produces a great

deal of the total solution of the whole problem.

Whenno exceptional variable a labelledas ‘physically inde-

pendent’ is or can be explicated, (3.1.1) is simply written as

f =0, where the variable a becomes b

m+1

. This notation is suit-

able when it is not clear what is the master quantity, or, when

several of them can play this role, depending on our angle of

view at the problem.

3.2. Comments on DA

3.2.1. Choice of variables

It is the main problem of DA, since there is no rigorous pro-

cedure for it. The quantities must be physically relevant and

independent, and their list must be complete. The choice

is highly subjective and needs profound understanding of

the problem, experience with usage of DA, intuition, and

good luck. As a guideline, there are recommendations of

what should be taken into account (e.g. system geometry,

material properties, kinematic and dynamic aspects, exter-

nal conditions, etc.). Very helpful are the governing equations

related to the problem. Even when we cannot solve them (e.g.

Navier–Stokes equation), they indicate the relevant quantities.

A simple example demonstrates how the choice of vari-

ables affects the output of DA. Consider the mathematical

pendulum in Fig. 1. The period P depends on two variables,

the length l and gravity g:

P(l. g) = 2¬

l

g

1,2

[s]. (3.2.1)

Suppose we do not know it, and we try to ﬁnd it by DA. Let

us try different choices of variables. At the proper choice, P(l,

g), we get the correct result, the basic scaling for the period,

P∼(l/g)

1/2

. Here, the correcting function ˚ in (3.1.6) contains

no argument and equals 2¬. With lesser variables than is due,

P(l) and P(g), the DA fails. The type of failure is the logical con-

tradiction of kind 1=0, since it is impossible to make up time

dimension of P (s) from the length l (m) only. When we try

to substitute for the missing correct variable (g) another vari-

able which is not relevant, the following may happen. DA fails

by a contradiction, with P(l, m), P(l, j). DA works but gives an

incorrect result, P∼l

2

/v, with P(l, v), which is the worst case,

since there is no indication that things go wrong. With more

Fig. 1 – Deﬁnition sketch. Pendulum of mass m and hanger

length l swings under gravity g in a medium of viscosity

(or ).

variables than necessary, DA either recovers the correct result

by eliminating the extras, P(l, g, m) and P(l, g, j), or, DA fails

by insolubility, i.e. having more unknowns than equations, P(l,

g, v). A subtle point is considering several quantities of the

same dimension, P(l, d, g). Using the same length scale L for

both l and d, DA fails by insolubility. Using one scale L

1

for the

correct variables (l, g) and another scale L

2

for the extra vari-

ables (d), DA works and eliminates the extras. However, using

L

1

for one part of the correct variables (l) plus some extras, and

another scale L

2

for the second part of the correct variables

(g) plus some extras, DA fails by contradiction. The result is

summarized in Table 1.

To sum up, DA either works or fails. When it works, it gives

either good or bad result. When it gives good result, either

the choice of variables is correct or the extra variables are

eliminated. When it fails, it is either by logical contradiction

(dimension of l.h.s. cannot be made up of dimensions of r.h.s.)

or by insolubility (extra variables bring more equations but not

new dimensions). This simple example is purely demonstra-

tive; not a general statement proven for all possible situations.

Table 1 – Application of DA for ﬁnding period of

pendulum, P=2(l/g)

1/2

Variables Features Action Output

P(l, g) Proper choice Work Correct result

P(l) Missing variable (g) Fail Contradiction

P(g) Missing variable (l) Fail Contradiction

P(l, m) Incorrect substitute (m) Fail Contradiction

P(l, j) Incorrect substitute (j) Fail Contradiction

P(l, v) Incorrect substitute (v) Work Wrong result

P(l, g, m) Extra variable (m) Work Elimination

P(l, g, j) Extra variable (j) Work Elimination

P(l, g, v) Extra variable (v) Fail Insolubility

P(l, g, d) Extra variable (d)

P(L

1

, g(L

1

), L

1

) Uniscale L

1

Fail Insolubility

P(L

1

, g(L

1

), L

2

) Two scales L

1,2

Work Elimination

P(L

1

, g(L

2

), L

1

) Two scales L

1,2

Fail Contradiction

P(L

1

, g(L

2

), L

2

) Two scales L

1,2

Fail Contradiction

First column: variables chosen for pendulum period P. Second col-

umn: features of our choice. Third column: what DA does? Fourth

column: note on result. Deﬁnition sketch in Fig. 1.

840 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

3.2.2. Variables with independent dimensions

Of the physically independent variables of f in (3.1.1), we must

choose those with independent dimensions (a

i

), and leave

the rest for b

i

. The task reduces to ﬁnding k linearly inde-

pendent vectors in R

k

. For instance, the three mechanical

dimensions generate 3D space (L MT) with the base vec-

tors {1, 0, 0}, {0, 1, 0}, {0, 0, 1}. All mechanical quantities

are represented by vectors in this space: speed has coordi-

nates {1, 0, −1}, density has {0, 1, −3}, force has {−1, 1,

−2}, etc. We can choose any three non-coplanar vectors for

a

i

, but the simpler the better. For different choices of a

i

, DA

produces different DN, but the resulting physical informa-

tion is identical. Based on the dimensional homogeneity of

(3.1.1), the powers p

ij

in (3.1.2) and (3.1.3) are determined

by the standard routine of solving a set of linear algebraic

equations.

3.2.3. Similarity and modelling

One paradigm says: If systems are similar, DA gives same

description. This statement forms the basis for the the-

ory of similarity (similitude) and modelling (scale-up/down).

The physical similarity consists in correspondence in geom-

etry, kinematics, dynamics, etc. One may ask: Can dissimilar

systems have same description? Consider four physically dif-

ferent systems shown in Fig. 2. Despite their difference, they

all share the same description, the formula for drag force given

by DA in (3.1.9). Consequently, different systems can have the

same description within the framework of dimensional con-

siderations. DA is ambiguous with respect to physical kind

of systems, it cannot see the physical difference. DA is not

ambiguous with respect to manipulation with symbols repre-

senting the input variables, owing to the unicity theorem for

the solution of linear algebraic systems.

Modelling usually means ﬁnding a description of a small

model system on a laboratory scale by DA (model M), where it

is easy to do measurements, and, to transfer the result on to a

similar but bigger system (prototype P), where it is difﬁcult to

experiment. Without similarity, the model and prototype are

described by two different relations:

˘

M

= ˚

M

(˘

M

i

) (model).

˘

P

= ˚

P

(˘

P

i

) (prototype).

(3.2.2)

With similarity, the following holds:

˘

M

= ˘

P

(similarity law for modelling).

˘

M

i

= ˘

P

i

∀i (similarity criteria). ˚

M

= ˚

P

. (3.2.3)

For instance, DA gives the scale estimate (3.2.1) for

pendulum period P∼(l/g)

1/2

. Applying the similarity law,

P

M

/(l

M

/g)

1/2

=P

P

/(l

P

/g)

1/2

, gives the relation between the peri-

ods of big and small pendula: P

P

/P

M

=(l

P

/l

M

)

1/2

(scaling rule).

Increasing pendulumlength25 times gives only 5 times longer

period, in virtue of (l

P

/l

M

)

1/2

(scaling coefﬁcient). Knowing this

may be helpful for designers of big clocks.

The similarity criteria may not always be met. With a

simple pendulum, the tuning function ˚ in (3.1.6) has no

arguments ˘

i

, and is constant, ˚=2¬, see (3.2.1). With more

complex systems, there can be several Pi-terms (e.g. two in

(3.1.9)), whose model-prototype equality required by (3.2.3)

may be difﬁcult to guarantee. The demands of the similarity

criteria for different ˘

i

may not be fully compatible. Models

with these contradictions are called ‘distorted’, in contrast

with the ‘true’ model, where we can satisfy all demands. For

instance, in hydraulic engineering, we have modelling based

on two Pi-terms, namely the Froude and Reynolds numbers,

˘

1

=Re, ˘

2

=Fr. Their equality (Fr

M

=Fr

P

, Re

M

=Re

P

) implies a

severe requirement on the kinematic viscosity of the model

and real ﬂuids, v

P

/v

M

=(L

P

/L

M

)

3/2

. Considering the great dis-

parity in size of hydraulic models L

M

and real water works L

P

,

it is difﬁcult to ﬁnd suitable ﬂuids. With L

P

/L

M

=10

2

we need

Fig. 2 – Ambiguity of DA. Four different ﬂow situations with identical description. (Case A) Inﬁnite pipe of diameter D and

wall roughness L. (Case B) Finite pipe of diameter D and length L. (Case C) Finite plate of size D×L. (Case D) Liquid piston of

length L oscillating in a cylindrical oriﬁce of diameter D. Fluid has density , viscosity and speed V.

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 841

v

P

/v

M

=10

3

. The phenomenon of distortion is often qualiﬁed

as a drawback of DA.

3.2.4. Neglecting variables in DA

There are two reasons for neglecting some variables that can

apparently play a role in the description of the problem. First,

based on our subjective choice, we do not want some variables

in the model. Our experience says, that they may be problem-

atic for the smooth operation of DA. Second, we want them,

but the corresponding ND are either small or large. The tra-

dition says that these variables are irrelevant, which is rather

counter-intuitive. The rationale is, however, the following. The

DN usually are ratios of two effects. If this ratio is either too

small or too big, one of the effects is simply negligible. There-

fore, it can be neglected as a category, and thus excluded from

further considerations. For instance, consider the Reynolds

number. When it is too small or too large, we have either the

viscous ﬂow or the potential ﬂow, and this parameter enters

neither of these two limiting theories. When we neglect the

inertia effects completely, there is no sense to compare them

with the viscous effects, and vice versa. The act of omitting

some variables looks rather subjective, but there are rules for

it, see Appendix A.

3.2.5. Limits of DA

It was believed that DA is a universal tool whose potential

is limited only by the skill of the user. However, like any

other mechanism, DA too can operate only under certain

circumstances: there are physical problems that cannot be

solved by DA, in principle. As a brief guideline, few contra-

indications to applicationof DAare the following. The problem

involves information about the initial and boundary condi-

tions: the system behaviour in the initial times, details of

process generation, its behaviour near the system bound-

aries, decay via equilibration, energy dispersion or dissipation

during the process evolution. There are variables related to

the presence of the internal sources/sinks of mass, heat,

momentum, energy, in the environment in which the process

occurs. Some global conservation characteristics (integrals)

of the system are not constant during solution but vary due

to the sources. Parameters related to variable properties of

the (micro)structure/texture of the medium carrying the pro-

cess are present. The independent variables are involved in

a complicate way (in exponent, in argument of function,

etc.). Regime transitions occur during the solution of the

problem (some variables lose relevance and new ones come

into play). All these are potentially bad variables, we may

not want. Consequently, more sophisticated tools must be

developed and employed to cope successfully withthese prob-

lems. Fortunately, there is one, the theory of intermediate

asymptotics, which can be considered as a generic exten-

sion of DA. The basic idea of this concept is presented in

Appendix A.

3.2.6. DA versus SE

As for the subjectivity of choices, the comparison between

DA and SE goes in favour of the latter. With DA, one must

choose all the quantities, whose relevance and completeness

is not guaranteed. With SE, these quantities are given by the

equations (plus initial and boundary conditions). In equa-

tions, we only must choose the variables to be scaled, and

the parameters to be left intact. Also, we must choose suit-

able characteristic scales to get the dimensionless variables

∼O(1), to see the proportion between different terms. Both are

basically doable, when little care is taken. As for the output,

DA can reproduce all the numbers obtained by SE, if we feed

it with the proper variables. On the other hand, DA can gen-

erate numbers that cannot be obtained by SE, whose physical

relevance may be difﬁcult to assess. In addition, DA gives the

scale-estimate of the unknown relation between the quanti-

ties. It is convenient to apply SE ﬁrst, to get the proper list

of DN, and then use DA to ﬁnd the scaling relations between

them.

4. Scaling of equations (SE)

The motivation for SE and the procedure were brieﬂy intro-

duced in Section 2.2. In sake of simplicity, a brief notation

is used further. The starred dimensionless O(1)-variables are

omitted, and only the parameters and scales are retained in

the ‘scale equations’. These are not the ‘true’ equations, but

relations that indicate the relative proportions between the

individual terms. As an example, we recover (3.2.1) by SE. The

governing equation is the conservation of angular momen-

tum, Fig. 1:

(ml) ¨ x ÷(mg)x = 0 [Nm]. (4.1)

where the mass cancels:

(l) ¨ x ÷(g)x = 0 [m

2

/s

2

]. (4.2)

Choose the variables (x, t) and parameters (l, g). Scaling of

variables by general scales L and T gives

lL

T

2

÷gL = 0 (‘scale equation’) [L

2

/T

2

]. (4.3)

Choosing the particular scales, L =l and T=P, which are rel-

evant and make x* and t* ∼O(1), indeed recovers P∼(l/g)

1/2

.

Here, relation (4.3), l

2

/P

2

+gl =0, means l

2

/P

2

∼gl, so that

P∼(l/g)

1/2

.

Further, in sake of simplicity, the complicated issues

related to the presence of multiple scales and directional scal-

ing are mostly omitted (except for an example in Section 8).

In the same system, different processes can take place, each

having distinct scales of length, time, speed, etc. Different pro-

cesses can dominate along different spatial directions, having

different scales. The ﬂow domain itself can be highly ani-

sometric, having different dimension in different directions.

We face multiplicity of relevant scales, and their directional

dependence. For instance, in a boundary layer different pro-

cesses ‘along’ and ‘across’ can be identiﬁed. A body moves

along the vertical and its wake grows in the horizontal direc-

tion. Likewise, a spiralling bubbles rises up and exerts periodic

deﬂection in the horizontal plane. We will not resolve the

many possible scales and, instead, a single scale will be

employedfor eachquantity. This ‘uniscale’ approachis accept-

able at the general level of description, but must be reﬁned

when particular ﬂow situation is analysed. Thus, length x∼L

(but not ∼L

x

, L

y

, L

z

), speed v∼V (but not ∼V

x

, V

y

, V

z

), nabla

∼1/L, etc.

5. Transport of momentum

Transport of momentum is a synonym for ﬂuid dynamics.

Conservation of mass and (linear) momentum of ﬂuid are the

governing equations.

842 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

5.1. Mass equation of ﬂuid

The mass balance (continuity equation) for a compressible

ﬂuid reads

∂,

∂t

÷∇(,v) = 0 [kg/m

3

s]

(unsteadiness) ÷(convection) = 0. (5.1.1)

Choosing the variables (,, v, x, t), their scales (,

0

, V, L, T), and

the parameters (–), we get by scaling the dimensional ‘scale

equation’:

,

0

T

÷

,

0

V

L

= 0 [M/L

3

T]. (5.1.2)

Dividing by ,

0

the density scale disappears, and we get

1

T

÷

V

L

= 0 [1/T]. (5.1.3)

Dividing ﬁnally by the convection term (V/L) we get the

dimensionless ‘scale equation’:

L

VT

÷1 = 0 (5.1.4)

with one DN, namely (L/VT) ∼(unsteadiness)/(convection).

Usually, we can ﬁnd suitable scales for length L and speed V.

The problemoftenis howto scale the time, i.e. what to take for

T. There are fewgeneral choices: velocity scaling (T=L/V), peri-

odic scaling (T=1/frequency), relaxationscaling (T=relaxation

time), energy scaling (T=L(M/E)

0.5

), diffusion scaling (T=L

2

/D),

etc. We take the ﬁrst, since nothing indicates that the ﬂow is

periodic or relaxing. Moreover, this choice also follows from

(5.1.3), in the state of balance. Taking the basic scaling T=L/V

turns the ‘scale equation’ into

1 ÷1 = 0. (5.1.5)

This should be read: unsteadiness (accumulation) and con-

vection are in balance (same order of magnitude), 1/T=V/L.

This balance is due to our choice of T, which may not be jus-

tiﬁed in reality. In case of incompressible ﬂuid, (5.1.1) reduces

to ∇v = 0, which after scaling gives V/L =0, meaning that the

convection term is zero order, ∼O(0), as expected.

5.2. Momentum equation of ﬂuid

The momentum (force) balance for an incompressible Newto-

nian single-phase ﬂuid reads

,

∂v

∂t

÷,(v.∇)v = −∇p ÷j∇

2

v ÷,g [Hyb/m

3

s] = [N/m

3

]

(unsteadiness) ÷(convection)

= (pressure) ÷(viscosity) ÷(gravity). (5.2.1)

Unlike force [Newton] or energy [Joule], momentum does

not have a single-word unit: let us call it Hyb [kgm/s] =[Ns],

provisionally. The two l.h.s. terms, (unsteadiness) and (con-

vection) are also called the inertial forces, namely the latter

one. They are called the Eulerian and Lagrangian (convec-

tive) accelerations, too. Choosing the variables (v, p, x, t), their

scales (V, P, L, T), and the parameters (,, j, g), we get by scaling:

,V

T

÷

,V

2

L

=

P

L

÷

jV

L

2

÷,g [M/L

2

T

2

]. (5.2.2)

Dividing by the convective (inertia) term(,V

2

/L), because of

tradition, we get

L

TV

÷1 =

P

,V

2

÷

j

,LV

÷

gL

V

2

. (5.2.3)

The magnitude of the convective (inertia) force is thus

unity. Assigning the four DN their proper names we get

Sr ÷1 = Eu ÷

1

Rc

÷

1

Fr

. (5.2.4)

We can divide (5.2.2) by any term, but DN would not have

the usual names. The convection (inertia) term is the most

‘ﬂow-like’, so it is the natural scaling basis. The four DN have

a clear physical meaning in terms of forces:

Strouhal number. Sr =

L

TV

(unsteadiness)

(convection)

.

Euler number. Eu =

P

,V

2

(pressure)

(convection)

.

Reynolds number. Rc =

,LV

j

(convection)

(viscosity)

.

Froude number. Fr =

V

2

gL

(convection)

(gravity)

.

(5.2.5)

The relevance and use of these numbers follow from their

deﬁnitions and physical content. The Froude number is some-

times (namely in physical literature) deﬁned as (V

2

/gL)

1/2

. For

instance, Fr is important where the gravity (buoyancy) and

inertia interplay (open channel ﬂow, free surface problems,

hydraulic engineering, ﬂoating vessels, surface waves at long

length scales—not capillary waves; buoyancy driven ﬂows).

The problem is how to scale time and pressure. Few scal-

ings for T were presented at (5.1.4). Others come from the

dynamic equation. We can compare the unsteady term L/TV

with the other terms in (5.2.2), to express their similar order

of magnitude:

Convection scaling : T =

L

V

. →Sr = 1.

Pressure scaling : T =

,VL

P

.

Viscosity scaling : T =

L

2

v

.

Gravity scaling : T =

V

g

.

(5.2.6)

The basic scaling T=L/V follows from the deﬁnition of

Sr =L/TV and also from comparing the unsteady and convec-

tion terms, ,V/T∼,V

2

/L. Using the basic scaling makes the

Strouhal number equal to unity, Sr =1. The unsteady and con-

vective forces are thus comparable, as a direct consequence

of our choice of scaling. This may not always correspond to

reality.

Similar holds for the pressure scale P (P also means LP).

We can compare the pressure term P/L with the other terms

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 843

in (5.2.2), to express their similar order of magnitude:

Unsteady scaling : P =

,LV

T

. for T =

L

V

it is P = ,V

2

.

→Eu = 1.

Convective scaling : P = ,V

2

. →Eu = 1.

Viscous scaling : P =

jV

L

.

Gravitational scaling : P = ,gL.

(5.2.7)

Their use depends on the ﬂow situation, and the rele-

vance of the forces involved. Similarly, we can obtain other

scaling relations between quantities in (5.2.2), comparing the

corresponding terms. For instance, the so-called gravitational

scaling for speed comes fromequating convection and gravity,

,V

2

/L ∼,g, which yields V∼(g/L)

1/2

. It also comes from deﬁni-

tion of Fr =V

2

/gL. This scaling is useful, e.g. in sedimentation,

when particle speed V is not known beforehand, but particle

size L is.

Note the following. Using the convective (inertial) pres-

sure scaling, which is nothing but the dynamic pressure, the

Euler number turns to unity, Eu=1. The pressure and convec-

tive forces are then comparable, as a direct consequence of

our choice. This may not always correspond to reality. Simi-

lar happens when using the convective scaling for both time

T=L/V and pressure P=,V

2

, yielding Sr =1 and Eu=1, so that

the unsteady, pressure and convective forces are comparable.

When some of these DNare ‘missing’ in books and papers, the

authors likely used certain speciﬁc scaling that made them

unity, perhaps without notifying the reader. To trace it back,

one needs to read carefully what kinds of scales were actu-

ally employed. The gravity scaling recovers the primary-school

formula for hydrostatic pressure, p=,gh.

Since we customarily divided (5.2.2) by the convective (iner-

tia) term, all numbers in (5.2.5) relate to the inertia force. If we

want other combinations of forces, we must compose them:

pressure

viscosity

= EuRc.

pressure

gravity

= EuFr.

viscosity

gravity

=

Fr

Rc

. →Cu =

Rc

2

Fr

→Ar = Cu

L,

,

.

(5.2.8)

Note the following. The ratio (gravity)/(viscosity) is often

introduced as the Galileo number:

Cu =

Rc

2

Fr

=

gL

3

v

2

. (5.2.9)

where the square of Re is used for a practical reason: the veloc-

ity cancels. This is helpful, when V is difﬁcult to estimate, or

when the speed is a part of the problemsolution. For instance,

in many applications (e.g. sedimentation, ﬂuidization, bubble

columns, etc.), we look for speed of bodies and particles mov-

ing in ﬂuids (bubbles, drops, solids). When buoyancy effects

are relevant, as it usually is in these applications, Ga is cor-

rected by (L,/,) and the product is called the Archimedes

number:

Ar =

L,

,

Cu =

L,

,

gd

3

v

2

. (5.2.10)

This number is also (and more naturally) obtained by scal-

ing the Newton force law for a body falling/rising in a ﬂuid

under gravity (see Section5.5.2). The buoyant correction(L,/,)

of Ga is equivalent to replacing in (5.2.9) the gravity g with the

reduced gravity g

/

=(L,/,)g in Fr, which is usual in buoyancy

driven ﬂows (see Section 6). The uniform part of the density

ﬁeld can be absorbed in the gradient pressure term (modiﬁed

pressure p

/

=p+,gz), thank to the fact that gravity has poten-

tial. Then, the buoyancy term is directly proportional to the

density difference L, =, −,

0

. The cause of density variations

within a (incompressible) ﬂuid can be, e.g. heat or solute con-

centration (see Sections 6 and 7). When the ‘solute’ particles

are so big that they are endowed with their own momentum,

they form the macroscopic dispersion, and we speak about

‘multi-phase ﬂow’ (see Section 5.5). Note that (5.2.1) contains

only two material properties, density and viscosity. The third

one, the surface tension, enters only via the boundary condi-

tions (Section 5.4).

There are many DN arising in particular ﬂow situations,

and some of them are mentioned here. For instance, the ﬂow

through curved pipes and sharp bends is characterized by the

Dean number, Dn=Re(r/r

c

)

1/2

, where r is pipe radius and r

c

is radius of curvature. This correction to Re accounts for the

effects of the secondary ﬂow driven by the centrifugal force

(Dean vortices). Fast liquid ﬂows with large pressure variance

can experience cavitation, where the liquid pressure p comes

close to or falls belowthe vapour pressure p

v

. Here, the Cavita-

tionnumber Cv=LP/,V

2

compares the liquid–vapour pressure

difference LP∼p−p

v

with the dynamic ﬂuid pressure ,V

2

.

There are numbers related to rotational effects, where cen-

trifugal (,˝

2

R) and Coriolis (2,v) forces arise in (5.2.1),

where is rotation frequency and R distance from rotation

axis. The Ekman number Ek =(v/˝L

2

) is the force ratio (vis-

cous)/(Coriolis). The Rossby number Ro =(V/˝L) is the force

ratio (inertia)/(Coriolis). Like with the uniform density, also

the centrifugal force can be absorbed in the pressure term,

because it can be put into the gradient form. When Ek and

Ro are small, a balance between pressure and Coriolis forces

is reached (geostrophic ﬂows). With these numbers, certain

phenomena are connected (strong collocations: Ekman lay-

ers, Rossby waves), which are important in geophysical ﬂuid

mechanics (meteorology, oceanography). While these num-

bers reﬂect the forces due tononinertial reference frame (Earth

rotation), another rotational effects are studied too, e.g. in

Taylor–Couette ﬂow between two coaxial cylinders, where we

canmeet the Taylor number, Ta=(4˝

2

L

4

/v

2

). The simplest rota-

tional effect is perhaps encountered in the process of mixing,

with an impellor in a container, where both the gravity (g) and

centrifugal (ω

2

r) accelerations interplay in (5.2.1).

There are numbers related to rheology of complex ﬂu-

ids with non-Newtonian behaviour, where the stress tensor

takes complicated forms. Depending on the given stress ten-

sor and the ﬂow situation, speciﬁc numbers can arise. For

instance, the Weissenberg number ∼(ﬁrst normal stress differ-

ence N

1

)/(shear stress), which can also be deﬁned in terms of

(relaxationtime)/(shear rate). Another one is, e.g. the Bingham

number ∼(yieldstress)/(viscous stress). There alsois anumber,

related to a very general concept, the Deborah number:

Dc =

T

r

T

f

. (5.2.11)

It compares two time scales: material relaxation time T

r

and time of ﬂow or deformation T

f

. The former scale is a con-

stitutive property of the material under study and says how

quickly it responds to deformation: T

r

=0 for ‘ideal ﬂuid’ with

instantaneous response, ∼10

−12

s for water molecules, ∼10

−6

s

for thick lubrication oil (tribology), ∼few seconds for polymer

844 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

melts, and T

r

=∞ for ‘ideal solid’ that does not deform at all.

The later scale is a property of the deformation process: the

length of the deformation experiment, the length of obser-

vation of the material under load, etc. The simple fact that

all real materials have T

r

<∞has an important consequence:

everything ﬂows. To witness it, we must perform/watch the

experiment on large enough time scales T

f

, to ensure T

f

>T

r

,

whence low De. Water is ‘solid’ when we hit it very fast, faster

than it can open. Thus, any ordinary mortal can walk over

water, provided one paces faster than ∼10

−12

s. This walking

is due to relaxation times of water molecules. Walking sup-

ported by surface tension is mentioned in Section 5.4.1. On

the other hand, the things we consider ‘solid’ in our everyday

life (T

f

∼hours, days, years), canﬂowduring centuries andmil-

lennia (e.g. under its own gravity: glass tables in windows of

cathedrals, lead pipes in old buildings). The scale T

f

for geo-

logical processes is evenlonger. To see it, one should spanvery

long period, ∼aeons. For instance, the Lord with T

f

∼eternity

could see ‘mountains ﬂowing before Him

2

’. Summing up, we

see/feel the material liquid at low De (De _1) and solid at high

De (De ¸1).

When dealing with conducting ﬂuids (magnetohydro-

dynamics—conducting ﬂuids in magnetic ﬁeld; metallic and

ionic melts, Earth core, interior of stars, plasma), speciﬁc

numbers appear, e.g. N=(magnetic permeability)

2

(magnetic

ﬁeld)

2

(electrical conductivity) L

2

/,v, or the Alfvennumber.

When dealing with compressible ﬂuids, the Mach number

Mc =V/V

s

is of paramount importance. Density variations in

a ﬂuid can be estimated by L,/, ∼KLp, where K is the ﬂuid

compressibility and Lp pressure variation, Lp∼,V

2

, using

the inertial pressure scaling. The compressibility effects are

important whenL,/, >1, i.e. V>1/(K,)

2

. Realizing that 1/(K,)

1/2

is the speed of sound V

s

, we have Mc >1. Since 1/K is the

bulk modulus of elasticity E, we can introduce the Cauchy

number Ch=,V

2

/E, to ﬁnd that Ch=Mc

2

. Other related number

is the Eckert number, Ec =V

2

/c

p

O∼(kinetic energy)/(enthalpy),

which arises from scaling the full energy equation (tempera-

ture rise by adiabatic compression). A relation holds, Ec ∼Mc

2

.

When dealing with rareﬁed ﬂuids (gases), there is a limit,

where our hypothesis about their continuous nature breaks:

when the mean free path L

m

of the ﬂuid molecules is compa-

rable with the domain size L

d

. There are not enough mutual

collisions between molecules to ensure the statistically sta-

ble averages. In terms of the Knudsen number, Kn=L

m

/L

d

, the

corrections to rareﬁcation are needed when Kn is large (gas at

low pressure, in small domain—porous media, membranes,

microchannels). One such correction is the Cunningham (slip)

factor F, which relates the drag coefﬁcients in the dilute

and ‘normal’ (atmospheric pressure, room temperature) ﬂu-

ids, C

dilute

=C

normal

/F. Not surprisingly, F depends on Kn, e.g.

2

This is often quoted in the reology literature with reference to

the Deborah song (The Old Testament, Book of Judges, Chapter 5,

Verse 5). Reiner (1964) introduced the concept of De with

reference to the ‘ﬂowing mountains’ in this song. It is right that

the original Hebrew word means ‘to ﬂow’ (root ‘nzl’ = ,

Hed´ anek, 2007). However, the mountains ‘ﬂew’ not because of

the very long observation time (only ∼1 (human) day; God

subdued Jabin, the king of Canaan, on that day), but because of

the short-time and intense anger of God. Therefore, the

expressions ‘to quake’ or ‘to melt’, which appear in different

translations, are closer to the original message. This note is not

to undermine the great concept of De, but to show that it does

not have its recourse in the Deborah song (and that the Lord was

likely not the very ﬁrst rheologist).

like F =1+Kn·f(Kn), or similar. Also, Kn relates to Re and Mc, by

Kn∼Mc/Re. Note that the macroscopic no-slipconditiononthe

wall also breaks, when the ﬂow is highly rareﬁed and events

on microscale become relevant.

5.3. Energy equation of ﬂuid

The derivation of the full energy equation is cumbersome,

and often not necessary. When we neglect the dissipation

and thermal effects and take the steady ﬂow, the conserva-

tive Bernoulli equation results, which is the ﬁrst integral of

the corresponding momentum equation:

1

2

,v

2

÷p ÷,gn = const. [J/m

3

]

(convection) ÷(pressure) ÷(gravity) = const. (5.3.1)

Choosing the variables (v, p, h), their scales (V, P, L), and the

parameters (,, g), we get by scaling:

,V

2

÷P ÷,gL = const. [M/LT

2

]. (5.3.2)

Here, we can see the convective and gravitational scaling

for the pressure directly, P∼,V

2

and P∼gL. Dividing by the

convective term (,V

2

), because of tradition, we get

1 ÷

P

,V

2

÷

gL

V

2

= const. (5.3.3)

Assigning the DN their proper names we get

1 ÷Eu ÷

1

Fr

= const. (5.3.4)

It is a counterpart of the steady and inviscid (5.2.4), so only

Eu and Fr are present.

Like the energy, also other quantities can be derived from

the velocity ﬁeld, and their equations obtained by manipulat-

ing (5.2.1). The vorticity equation is obtained by taking Curl of

momentum equation (5.2.1):

,

∂

∂t

÷,(v.∇) = ,(.∇)v ÷j∇

2

[Hyb/m

4

s]

(unsteadiness) ÷(convection)

= (vortex stretching) ÷(vorticity diffusion).

,˝

T

÷

,V˝

L

=

,V˝

L

÷

j˝

L

2

. (5.3.5)

The pressure and gravity disappear due to their gradient

nature (they generate no torque), and the vortex stretch-

ing term emerges. It is important for the energy ﬂow down

the turbulent cascade, and is zero in 2D case, causing some

anomalous phenomena. Note that the transport coefﬁcient for

diffusionof bothmomentumandvorticityis the same (namely

j). Some estimates of ˝ can be made, e.g. the easiest one,

˝=V/L. Note that the convection and vortex stretching terms

are comparable, when the same scales are used for these two

physically different terms.

Related to energy is so-called enstrophy. Energy per unit

mass is the square of velocity ((1/2)v

2

), enstrophy is the square

of vorticity ((1/2)

2

). The cross-product is called helicity

((1/2)v·). These scalar quantities are oftenusedinturbulence.

Their equations can easily be scaled and the corresponding

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 845

DN formed. It is not sure, whether the terminology (if any) of

numbers thus produces is established and settled.

5.4. Boundary conditions: no slip and free-slip

Initial and boundary conditions inseparably pertain to the

governing equations, and should also be scaled. The initial

conditions (IC) are given functions of the spatial distribution of

the variables in the initial time. There is actually nothing to

scale. On the other hand, the boundary conditions (BC) can be

more elaborate. BC are equations that the variables must fulﬁl

at the boundary ∂˝ of the ﬂow domain ˝, during the whole

process of solution. As such, they must also be scaled.

In single-phase ﬂow, bounded by a rigid wall, the no-slip

BC applies, which is simple and merely says that the speed is

zero at the wall, v=0. There is not much to scale, besides v,V,

which is kind of unnecessary.

In multi-phase ﬂow, where deformable ﬂuid interfaces

separate immiscible phases with certain interfacial (surface)

tension o, the free-slip BC applies, which is far from being

trivial. It is a force balance at the ﬂuid–ﬂuid interface. Decom-

posing the force into normal (normal stress, pressure) and

tangential (shear stress) components, BC says: jump in ﬂuid

pressure is balanced by tension o, and jump in ﬂuid stress

is balanced by surface gradient of tension

S

o (i.e. gradient

along interface). There are important DN stemming from the

free-slip BC that relate to deformation of ﬂuid particles and

interfaces.

5.4.1. Normal component of free-slip BC

By scaling, the normal component gives a number that com-

pares the ﬂuid pressure and the Laplace pressure produced by

the interface tension, N=P/(o/L), sometimes called the Laplace

number, La. It follows from the physical situation, that the

length scale L cannot be chosen arbitrarily but must relate to

the curvature of the interface that produces the correspond-

ing capillary pressure o/L [Pa]. Choosing something else would

be physical nonsense. Consequently, for L should be taken the

radius of curvature, the size of a bubble or drop, or perhaps

even the capillary length. What can be put for the ﬂuid pres-

sure scale P? Generally, anything from (5.2.7), provided that it

corresponds to the physical situation in question. Upon differ-

ent scalings for pressure P, the number N takes the following

forms and names:

Unsteady scaling of P : Un =

,L

2

V

oT

(unsteadiness)

(capillarity)

.

Convective scaling of P : Wc =

(L),LV

2

o

(inertia)

(capillarity)

.

Viscous scaling of P : Cu =

jV

o

(viscosity)

(capillarity)

.

Gravitation scaling of P : Bo = Eo =

(L),gL

2

o

(gravity or buoyancy)

(capillarity)

.

(5.4.1)

Here (L), means that both , and L, can be used, putting

stress either on gravitational or buoyant aspect of We and Bo.

The unsteady number Un turns into the Weber number upon

the convective scaling for time T=L/V.

The Weber number We compares the inertia and capillary

forces. It applies to deformation of bubbles and drops at

free rise or on collisions with an obstacle where dynamic

effects are important. Typical situations are, e.g. bouncing

at a wall and path instability of rising/falling ﬂuid parti-

cles, where the deformation and the motion can strongly

be coupled. Since We stems from the Lagrangian accelera-

tion term, it also reﬂects the particle deformation due to the

converging/diverging streamlines. Low We means low defor-

mation, and vice versa. Other situation is walking over water

(hydrophobic feet assumed), where the inertia force (dynamic

load) produced by the walker must not exceed the bear-

ing power of the ‘ﬂexible membrane’ of the surface tension,

whence low We is required. Note that other mechanisms of

water walking exist, well beyond the bearing capacity of the

surface tension. For instance, small reptiles (genus Basiliscus)

canrunover water using a supporting impulse froma liquidjet

created by a speciﬁc shape of their feet. Here, other numbers

besides We play a role too.

The Capillary number Ca compares the viscous and capillary

forces. It is relevant when viscous forces dominate, i.e. slow

ﬂows and small scales. The typical situation is drainage of a

thin liquid ﬁlm between two interfaces, at least one of them

is ﬂuid (to have o in play). The typical applications abound:

interactions of ﬂuid particles with themselves, with solids,

and with rigid walls (coalescence, bouncing, adhesion), fre-

quently encountered in bubble columns, ﬂotation columns,

extractors, etc.

The Bond number Bo and the Eotvos number Eo mean the

same: the ratio of gravity (,) or buoyancy (L,) forces to the

capillary forces. The typical situation is deformation of a stag-

nant drop sitting on a horizontal plane, where Bo compares

the hydrostatic pressure across the drop (,gL) with the capil-

lary pressure (o/L) inside the drop. Naturally, the length scale

L must be the drop size. Similar situation is when bubbles or

drops are entrapped below a horizontal wall, or attached to a

needle (L ∼oriﬁce size). From the equilibrium deformation of

bubbles and drops, the static value of o can be obtained. Other

situation is standing on the water surface, where the static

loadof the stander must not exceedthe strengthof the surface

tension, whence low Bo is required. An important quantity

relates to Bo, the capillary length z

C

. Consider that gravity

forces dominate on large length scales at Bo ≥1, and capillary

forces dominatedonsmall lengthscales at Bo ≤1. Findthe crit-

ical (capillary) lengthscale z

C

, where Bo =1. Quickly we see that

the capillarity prevails over gravity when L ≤z

C

=(o/(L),g)

1/2

.

The typical situationis the capillary elevationof the water sur-

face near the wall of the glass, which occurs in the range up

to ∼z

C

from the wall. Beyond this, the gravity prevails and the

surface is ﬂat.

Besides the four DN arising from the normal component of

the BC in (5.4.1), another composite number is often used. The

Morton number Mo is an artiﬁcial conglomerate that combines

Re and Fr from the governing equations, and We from the BC,

in such a way, that it contains only the material properties of

ﬂuids (plus gravity):

Mo =

Wc

3

Rc

4

Fr

. (5.4.2)

The buoyant versionreads Mo =(L,)

3

j

4

g/,

4

o

3

=g(L,)

3

v

4

/o

3

,

and gravity version reads Mo =gj

4

/,o

3

=gvj

3

/o

3

. It can also be

obtained by DA, by forming a dimensionless group of (g, j, ,,

o).

5.4.2. Tangential component of free-slip BC

By scaling, the tangential component gives a number that

compares the surface gradient of the interface tension

S

o

and the ﬂuid shear stress t, N=

S

o/t. Since the quantity

S

o

846 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

is called the Marangoni stress t

Ma

, the number N is called the

Marangoni number Ma:

Mu =

t

Mu

t

. (5.4.3)

In case of a ﬂat surface, where a tension difference Lo

develops over a lengthL, the surface gradient canbe estimated

as

S

o ∼Lo/L. The ﬂuid stress can be estimated by the viscous

scaling as t ∼jV/L, which gives

Mu =

Lo,L

jV,L

=

Lo

jV

. (5.4.4)

It may be difﬁcult to estimate the velocity scale V for com-

plex motions near interfaces on the convection basis, and the

diffusive scaling is therefore applied. V is expressed with help

of the diffusivity of the agent that causes the interface tension

variance (heat, surfactant), V∼(diffusivity)/L. It is consistent

with using the viscous scaling for the ﬂuid stress: in both

cases, the molecular transport is reﬂected.

The speciﬁc formulation depends on the physical process

that causes the variation of o along the interface. Two situa-

tions usually occur: variation of o is caused by a difference in

temperature ± or in surfactant concentration c. In the former

case, it is Lo =(do/d±)·(∂±/∂ϕ) and V=k/L. In the latter case, it

is Lo =(do/dc)·(∂c/∂ϕ) and V=D/L. The Marangoni number then

reads

Mu =

⎧

⎪

⎨

⎪

⎩

L

jk

.

do

d±

.

∂±

∂ϕ

(thermocapillarity).

L

jD

.

do

dc

.

∂c

∂ϕ

(surfactants).

(5.4.5)

where ϕ is the angle along the interface of a bubble or drop,

and L corresponds to their size. To close the problem, we must

ﬁnd the dependence of the interface tension on the agent con-

tent, o(±) and o(c), as well as the spatial distribution along the

interface of the agent itself, ±(x)

S

and c(x)

S

. The help comes

fromthe thermodynamics and physical chemistry of surfaces,

where the relation between o and (±, c)

S

at the interface is

determined, and the relation between (±, c)

S

at the interface

and that in the bulk (±, c)

bulk

are established too. Often, the

equilibrium between the bulk and interface is assumed (for-

mulas are then called ‘isotherms’). The problem of ﬁnding the

interfacial distribution of ±(x)

S

and c(x)

S

is much more compli-

cated. Under severe assumptions on the ﬂow and transport of

± and c we can make simpliﬁed theories. Otherwise, we are on

mercy of numerical experiments by CFD, where all processes

are strongly coupled (ﬂow, transport, adsoption/desorption

kinetics).

The signiﬁcance of the Marangoni number is that its large

value indicates the presence of strong Marangoni stresses.

They are important in several situations. They delay the rise

of drops and bubbles in ‘contaminated’ water. They delay

the drainage of the ﬁlm between interfaces, which suppress

the coalescence (bubble columns, extractors) and adhesion

(ﬂotation). Besides, it generates many other interesting phe-

nomena. For instance, at the thermocapillary migration, ﬁne

bubbles can ‘rise down’ in a liquid with inverse temperature

gradient (hot-bottom cold-top arrangement). Similar is the

electrocapillary motion, where the surface variation of o is

caused by the electric charges.

Surface tension effects are very complex and very tricky.

Surfactants cause large effects even at trace amounts. It is

difﬁcult to separate the effect of o and that of

S

o. One

may suspect that effects of the latter are more frequent and

more important. The most of the common liquids (either

pure or in mixtures or with surfactants) have o in the range

∼0.02–0.08N/m, i.e. differing by factor of 4. The effects pro-

duced by surfactants in gas–liquid systems are enormous,

within orders of magnitude. Moreover, o itself inﬂuence

directly only relatively few hydromechanical processes. Con-

sider for instance, the bubble formation process. The resulting

bubble size depends directly on o only at the very low-gas ﬂow

where the equilibrium between buoyancy and surface force is

reached during the quasi-steady inﬂation. This is not the case

of real gas–liquid contactors, where the bubble size depends

on many other effects, involved in violent breakup of irregular

gas jets producedby the gas distributor. Onthe other hand, the

magnitude of

S

o is difﬁcult to estimate. Taking it ∼Lo/L, we

have Lo within the factor of 4 (i.e. almost ‘constant’ for all liq-

uids), but the relevant length scale L can cover very vast range

of values. Consider a bubble of size L. The surface gradient

can develop over any distance, from 0 to ∼L, making Lo/L very

much varying quantity. Moreover, the gradient formation and

evolution is a dynamic process, with fast temporal changes,

which depends on the ﬂow situation (unlike o, which is mate-

rial property of static equilibrium). Also, all real processes

take place in systems that contain ‘impurities’, which read-

ily act as surface active agents (most of chemical compound,

e.g. reactants). Therefore, no surprise, that bubbling into two

‘extremely different’ liquids with o =0.02 and 0.08N/m gives

almost identical results, while re-distilled water and tap water

may differ by tenth of percents in gas holdup. For these rea-

sons, the gas holdup correlations involving o are extremely

unreliable, with respect to this particular variable.

Better understanding the surface processes and their

proper scaling is needed. A qualitative sketch of the surfac-

tant action is shown in Fig. 3. Based on their tendency to

gather at the interface, two classes of surfactants can be dis-

tinguished: positive and negative. The positive surfactants are

attracted to the interface, their surface concentration is larger

than the bulk concentration (c

s

>c

b

). Typically, they are organic

substances (emulsiﬁers, detergents, tensides, wetting agents,

etc.) that decrease the surface tension signiﬁcantly. The neg-

ative surfactants are repelled from the interface, their surface

concentration is smaller than the bulk concentration (c

s

<c

b

).

Typically, they are inorganic substances (salts of mineral acids,

electrolytes, ionic solutions, etc.) that increase the surface ten-

siononly slightly. During the bubble rise, its nose feels the bulk

concentration (c

b

). Its tail feels a generally different concen-

tration, resulting from the adsorption/desorption transport

processes occurring between the bulk and the interface, as

the liquid passed around the bubble. When an equilibrium is

reached, the rear concentrationcanbe denotedas ‘equilibrium

concentration’ (c

e

). Obviously, the positive surfactants have

c

e

>c

b

, while the negative c

e

<c

b

. However, despite the opposite

concentration proﬁles along the interface of the positive and

negative surfactants, their surface tension proﬁle is the same.

In both cases, the rear o is low and the front o is large. This

interfacial surface tension gradient (

S

o) is a tensile force that

generates the Marangoni stresses. These stresses move the

liquid material elements along the interface, in the direction

opposite to the main ﬂow over the bubble. The increase in the

resistance force is the natural result (retardation of bubble rise

in contaminated media). At the ﬁrst guess, the students (and

not only them!) wouldsay, that if the positive surfactant delays

the bubble rise, so the negative surfactant will accelerate it,

which is, however, not so.

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 847

Fig. 3 – Positive and negative surfactants in air–water system. (a) Positive surfactants are attracted to surface: nonpolar parts

point to nonpolar air, polar parts remain in polar water. Negative surfactants are repelled from surface: polar ions are

repelled by nonpolar air and attracted by polar water. (b) Concentration proﬁle perpendicular to surface: positive surfactants

have c

s

>c

b

, negative surfactants c

s

<c

b

. (c) Positive surfactants decrease surface tension (much). Negative surfactants

increase surface tension (little). (d) Concentration proﬁle along surface of rising bubble: positive surfactants have c

e

>c

b

,

negative surfactants c

e

<c

b

. (e) Surface tension proﬁle along bubble surface: both positive and negative surfactants have

same proﬁle. Surface tension gradient (

S

) corresponds to rubber sheet with variable thickness: thicker regions shrink,

making thinner regions expand (surface gradient is seen in (a)).

5.5. Multi-phase ﬂow

5.5.1. Microscale description (DNS)

On the ‘microscopic’ level, the ﬂow is fully resolved, in both

phases: inside N discrete dispersed particles (bubbles, drops;

solids—no ﬂow inside), and around them in the one con-

tinuous carrying ﬂuid. We should write (N+1) Navier–Stokes

equations, and solve them simultaneously. They are coupled

by sharing the same boundary condition at the particle–ﬂuid

interface. We obtain the ﬂow ﬁeld in every point of the disper-

848 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

sion. The interface forces move the particles and deform the

interfaces. We have the full information about the problem.

This ﬁne microscale approach is in the CFD jargon called the

‘direct numerical simulation’ (DNS).

There are no extra forces, as compared with the single-

phase ﬂow. However, there is a difference: the surface tension

force is moved from the boundary condition (Section 5.4)

directly into the momentum equation (Section 5.2, Eq. (5.2.1)).

Usually, this new term contains the following ingredients:

surface force [N/m

3

] ∼interface tension o [N/m], interface cur-

vature [m

−1

], interface area [m

2

/m

3

]. As for the scaling, this

termcouldbe inertially scaledby (,V

2

/L), like any other termin

(5.2.1). This would yield (o/L)/(,V

2

), which is nothing but We

−1

.

The speciﬁc way how this surface force is converted into a

volumetric force and implemented depends on the modelling

approach to the DNS. Currently there are several numeri-

cal strategies, how to describe interfaces and their motion

(e.g. front tracking method, level set method, volume of ﬂuid

method).

5.5.2. Mesoscale description (Euler/Lagrange)

On the ‘mesoscopic’ level, the ﬂow ﬁeld is resolved only in

the continuous phase, using the single-phase equation—one

Navier–Stokes (Eulerian view). The dispersed particles (bub-

bles, drops, solids) are considered being pointwise, as seen by

the ﬂuid. Their motion is described by set of N equations of

motion of system of bodies in space (Largangian view). This

intermediate-resolution approach is in the CFD jargon called

the ‘Euler/Lagrange simulation’ (E/L).

The many kinds of hydrodynamic forces acting on the par-

ticles are given by various closure formulas, obtained by other

means (e.g. experiment, DNS). The forces depend on the local

ﬂow ﬁeld near the particles. The particles can also affect the

ﬂuid motion, as a feedback (coupling). As compared with the

single-phase ﬂow, there are many new equations with new

forces. All of them can be scaled, and new DN will appear.

Consider only the simplest case of a sedimenting particle in a

stagnant unbounded ﬂuid, without (particle→ﬂuid) coupling,

which is the paradigm of sedimentation:

m

du

dt

= gravity −buoyancy −drag [Hyb/s]. (5.5.1)

Substituting the typical closures for the forces, it reads

m

du

dt

=

¬

6

d

3

,

p

g −

¬

6

d

3

,

f

g −

1

2

¬d

2

4

,

f

u

2

C [Hyb/s]. (5.5.2)

First, consider a steady particle motion, under the force

equilibrium:

¬

6

gd

3

L, =

1

2

¬d

2

4

,u

2

C (L, = ,

p

−,

f

) [N]

(gravity) −(buoyancy) = (drag). (5.5.3)

Choosing the variables (d, u), their scales (L, V), and the

parameters (,, L,, g, C), we get by scaling:

¬

6

gL

3

L, =

1

2

¬L

2

4

,V

2

C [N]. (5.5.4)

Note that L must keep the meaning of the particle size d.

Dividing mercenarily by ,v

2

=jv, we get dimensionlessly

¬

6

L,

,

gL

3

v

2

=

1

2

¬

4

L

2

V

2

v

2

C. (5.5.5)

which is nothing but

Ar =

3

4

CRc

2

. (5.5.6)

This is an important criterial equation for problems with

falling/rising particles, where gravity, buoyancy, and drag play

the main role. It indicates a close relation between Re and Ar

in this type of problems, where an equilibrium is established

between the driving forces (Ar, l.h.s.) and the resistance force

(Re, r.h.s.). The former are produced by an external ﬁeld (e.g.

gravity), while the latter involves speedas the mainingredient.

Since the speed in Re is often the part of the solution, the grav-

itational scaling is employed V∼(g/L)

1/2

, which transforms Re

into Ga=Re

2

/Fr. Here, the concept of buoyancy reﬂected by Ar

has much clearer interpretation than in the single-phase ﬂow:

the effect of particle–fuid density difference is obvious. Note

that bothparticle size L andspeedVare involvedinRe(L, V) and

only size in Ar(L

3

). It leads to an iteration procedure in solving

the sedimentation problem, where the speed depends on the

particle size. A usual trick is to separate these two with help

of a new suitably deﬁned number. The Lyjascenko number,

Ly(V

3

) =Re

3

/Ar =(V

3

/gv)(,/L,), converts (5.5.6) into

Ar

1,3

=

3

4

CLy

2,3

. (5.5.7)

where L stands on l.h.s. and V

2

on r.h.s., so that the size

and speed are decoupled. Another problem of course is with

C=C(Re(L, V)).

Second, consider an unsteady motion, when the resistance

force consumes the initial momentum of a particle:

m

du

dt

= −

1

2

¬d

2

4

,

f

u

2

C (IC : t = 0. u = u

0

) [Hyb/s]. (5.5.8)

In the simplest case of the Stokes drag, we have a linear

relaxation process and (5.5.8) becomes

m

du

dt

= −3¬jdu [Hyb/s] (unsteadiness) = (drag). (5.5.9)

This is a rare occasion in two-phase ﬂow when we can

ﬁnd the relaxation time (original disturbance is reduced by

1/e≈64%; a stable equilibrium presumed, a node). Choosing

the variables (u, t), their scales (V, T), and the parameters (m,

d, j), we get by scaling:

mV

T

= jdV [ML,T

2

]. (5.5.10)

By turn, we have the relaxation time:

T

r

=

m

jd

[T]. (5.5.11)

Substituting for the particle mass m=(¬/6)d

3

,

p

, the time is

T

r

=

¬

6

,

p

d

2

j

∼

,

p

d

2

j

[T]. (5.5.12)

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 849

Another way is to solve the linear problem (5.5.9) directly:

u(t) = u

0

exp

−

3¬jd

m

t

[m/s]. (5.5.13)

The exponent should be of the form (t/T

r

), in order, at t =T

r

,

the ratio u/u

0

be exp(−1) =1/e. Accordingly, the relaxation time

is

T

r

=

1

18

,

p

d

2

j

∼

,

p

d

2

j

[T]. (5.5.14)

The variance of (3¬) between(5.5.12) and(5.5.14) is the mod-

est price for bypassing the exact solution by the scaling, which

is acceptable.

The relaxationtime just found is useful for a variety of situ-

ations, where time scales of different processes are compared,

to distinguish between the ‘fast’ and the ‘slow’, which in turn

leads to the time decoupling, making the problem easier to

handle. One important case is the concept of the Stokes num-

ber St. It compares two time scales: particle relaxation time T

r

and time of ﬂow change T

f

:

St =

T

r

T

f

. (5.5.15)

The former says how fast the particle relaxes back to the

steady state, when accelerated with respect to the surround-

ing (viscous) ﬂuid. The latter says how fast the ﬂow ﬁeld

changes. Without a priori knowledge, the basic estimate of T

f

can be made, T

f

∼L/V. Since the particle must feel the changes

in the ﬂuid, we couple them by the common length scale,

clearly given by the particle size, L =d. Then, the Stokes num-

ber is

St =

,

p

dV

j

. (5.5.16)

In other words, St is the ratio (particle inertia)/(ﬂuid iner-

tia). More correctly, the particle mass used above should also

contain the added mass C

a

, m=((¬/6)d

3

) (,

p

+C

a

,), especially

here, when unsteady effects are considered. Then the particle

density becomes: ,

p

→(,

p

+C

a

,). We appreciate it namely in

case of bubbles in liquids, where ,

p

/, ≈10

−3

, so that the bub-

ble inertia is represented by the added mass, i.e. by the liquid

inertia, ,

p,effective

≈,, since C

a

is O(1). Then, the Stokes num-

ber becomes the Reynolds number, St =,

p

dV/j≈,dV/j=Re,

meaning∼(particle–joint ﬂuid inertia)/(‘viscous ﬂuid inertia’).

The Stokes number measures the willingness of the car

to get off the road when you turn the stirring wheel sud-

denly. As such, it is used in many situations when we want

to know how much the dispersed particles tend to follow the

streamlines of the carrying ﬂuid. The total ﬂow-follower has

St =0 (passive scalar, tracer). On the other hand, particles with

large St easily hit the wall in bendings of a duct. It is used

in devices (impactors) where aerosol particles are sorted out

by their value of St, being expelled from the main stream to

the wall by their inertia, in multiple progressively narrowing

U-bends. The adhesion efﬁciency of the ﬂotation process also

depends on the value of St, with which a bubble collides with

particles: the lower St, the better for adhesion (no bouncing).

Other numbers appear in speciﬁc areas of multi-phase

ﬂows, at this mesoscale level of description. For instance, the

Bagnold number in granular ﬂows, Ba=,

p

,d

2

/j, compares the

effect of the interstitial ﬂuid on the motion of the granules

(grains). In terms of stresses, it is a ratio of the collisional

stress in the particulate phase, which by the kinetic theory

is ∼,

p

V

2

, where V∼,d, where , is the velocity gradient and d

the particle size, and the viscous ﬂuid stress ∼j,. With, ∼V/L,

and L ∼d, Ba=,

p

dV/j, which actually is St. Equivalently, it

can be recasted in terms of the friction forces (particle col-

lisional)/(ﬂuid viscous). The presence of the interstitial ﬂuid

can be neglected at large Ba, to reach the limit of so-called

‘dry’ granular ﬂows.

5.5.3. Macroscale description (Euler/Euler)

On the ‘macroscopic’ level, the dispersed particles (bubbles,

drops, solids) are considered as a phase smoothly distributed

in space, forming a ‘pseudo-continuum’. The particles are

then assigned continuous concentration and velocity ﬁelds.

This approximation is acceptable when we describe the sys-

temon length scales much larger than the discrete scales. The

particles and their spacing must be much smaller than the

system size, and than the smallest scales we want to resolve.

In the single-phase ﬂow, estimate the discrete (atomic) scales

by 10

−9

m, and the beginning of the continuum by 10

−6

m,

say. We have three orders of magnitude to bridge the gap.

Accordingly, with 1cm bubbles, the reactor should be of

10-m size, to consider the bubbles as the continuous phase.

Further, presence of many bubbles is anticipated, for their

spacing be small, e.g. comparable with bubble size. Now, the

governing equations should be twice Navier–Stokes: one for

the continuous phase and one for the dispersed phase (two

interpenetrating continua, twice Euler’s view). These equa-

tions are coupled via the interphase momentum transfer.

This coarse macroscale approach is in the CFD jargon called

the ‘Euler/Euler simulation’ (E/E).

The governing equations for single-phase ﬂow are often

said to be derived fromthe ‘ﬁrst principles’. These mechanical

principles are known for a single continuum, namely in case

of simple ﬂuids, but are only in the process of development

for the multi-phase systems. Here, we lack a universally valid

equation, which would be of practical use. There are many

general equations suggested, but they are too monstrous,

and the many closures needed for them are still missing.

On the other hand, there also are many simple equations,

suggested for speciﬁc systems and particular ﬂow situations,

which are practical, yet of limited use. As a compromise, here

we write the two-phase ﬂowequations purely formally, as two

Navier–Stokes-like equations:

• Continuous phase:

∂

∂t

ε

/

,

/

÷∇(ε

/

,

/

v) = 0 (mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.17)

∂

∂t

ε

/

,

/

v ÷(v.∇)(ε

/

,

/

v) = ∇ε

/

/

÷ε

/

,

/

f ÷S

(momentum) [Hyb/m

3

s]. (5.5.18)

• Dispersed phase:

∂

∂t

ε

//

,

//

÷∇(ε

//

,

//

u) = 0 (mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.19)

∂

∂t

ε

//

,

//

u ÷(u.∇)(ε

//

,

//

u) = ∇ε

//

//

÷ε

//

,

//

f −S

(momentum) [Hyb/m

3

s]. (5.5.20)

850 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

The continuous phase has density ,

/

, velocity v, stress ten-

sor

/

, volume fraction ε

/

. The dispersed phase has density

,

//

, velocity u, stress tensor

//

, volume fraction ε

//

. The mass

conservationfor the two-phase mixture needs ε

/

+ε

//

=1. The

mainmulti-phase problemis to formulate the stress tensors

//

and the interactiontermS. As for the scaling, two kinds of

new DN could appear, as compared with single-phase ﬂow.

One comes fromscaling the stress term

//

, which very likely

will not reduce tosimple Newtonianformulationyielding Eu

and Re. The other comes fromthe momentumtransfer term

S. The latter would indicate how strong the phase coupling

is.

If the dispersed phase constitutes a macroscopic dispersion,

the particles are the mechanical individuals (small bodies)

and have their own momentum, inertia, gravity, buoyancy,

whence the momentum equation (5.5.20) applies. If the dis-

persed phase constitutes a microscopic dispersion, the particles

lack these qualities, and (5.5.20) is needless. The individual

particles passively follow the ﬂow (St =0); very ﬁne particles

called ‘passive scalars’ and used for ﬂow visualization (trac-

ers). The true chemical solutions (salt or dye in water) surely

belong to this category (sub-colloidal). There is a legitimate

question: what is between these two extremes, the macro

and micro. When the dispersed phase earns the right to be

awarded the full momentum equation? Likely, there are no

strict and unequivocal criteria, to decide. Probably, it depends

on our choice, what effects and on which scales we wish

to study. In the molecular dynamics, very small particles

(solute/solvent molecules) are moved by force laws of vari-

ous degrees of resolution. Some forces are derived directly

from molecular potentials, some are modelled as random

thermal noise to account for Brownian effects, there is a

resistance force, and the overall formulation can be within

the Langevine ansatz (random forcing, stochastic differential

equations). In the Stokesian (hydro)dynamics, very small par-

ticles (ﬁne particles suspended in ﬂuid) are moved by forces

of both hydrodynamic (Stokes limit) and nonhydrodynamic

(Brownian, colloidal, interparticle, etc.) origin. Another aspect

is reﬂected by rheology, where the dispersed phase affects the

intrinsic momentum transport substantially.

For microscopic dispersions, Eq. (5.5.20) is omitted and

(5.5.19) is modiﬁed accordingly. The quantity (ε

//

,

//

) is replaced

with the scalar concentration c. The speed u is identiﬁed with

v. The molecular diffusion termis added to the r.h.s., since the

macroscopic particles did not have this molecular transport

mechanism.

3

Eq. (5.5.19) then becomes:

• Dispersed phase:

∂c

∂t

÷(v.∇)c = D∇

2

c (mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.21)

These modiﬁcations must also be reﬂected by Eqs. (5.5.17)

and (5.5.18). Since the dispersion does not exist on the

macroscale, the carrying ﬂuid occupies the whole volume,

ε

/

=1. Omit the apostrophe at ,

/

and

/

. Set S=0, since the

ﬂuid does not receive momentum from the dispersed par-

ticles. For Newtonian ﬂuid equations, (5.5.17) and (5.5.18)

become

3

But there is a concept of ‘hydrodynamic diffusion’ of

macroscopic particles, due to (mostly repulsive) interaction

forces, see e.g. Davis (1996).

• Continuous phase:

∂,

∂t

÷∇(,v) = 0(mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.22)

∂

∂t

,v ÷(v.∇)(,v) = −∇p ÷j∇

2

v ÷,f

(momentum) [Hyb/m

3

s]. (5.5.23)

While a single dispersed particle does not affect the ﬂow,

a large number of them can exert collective buoyancy effects.

These macroscopic effects consist in ﬂuid density variations

caused by distribution of the particle concentration, , =,(c).

The interphase coupling is as follows. The (micro) dispersed

phase imports the ﬂuid velocity v from (5.5.23) into (5.5.21),

andexports the concentrationc from(5.5.21) intothe ﬂuidden-

sity in (5.5.22) and (5.5.23). This is the convection–buoyancy

two-way coupling.

Note that Eqs. (5.5.21)–(5.5.23) formally coincide with those

for heat and mass transport considered in Sections 6 and

7. Indeed, these equations represent the non-inertial micro-

disperse limit of the governing equations (5.5.17)–(5.5.20)

derived for the macro-dispersed multi-phase mixtures. This

simple fact opens an interesting window of research: build-

ing analogies betweenthe well-understoodsingle-phase ﬂows

with heat and mass transport, and much less understood

multi-phase ﬂows. The buoyant coupling from (5.5.21) to

(5.5.22)–(5.5.23) can be facilitated by any buoyant agent that

behaves like a passive scalar (true solute, heat, ﬁne particles,

etc.). As the next step, the ﬁrst-order inertial effects can be

added to this base state. For instance, the buoyancy-driven

instabilities in sedimenting layers, ﬂuidized, beds, and bubbly

columns may shear certain common features with phenom-

ena of thermal convection or halinoconvection. As for the

scaling, DN related to heat and mass transport is introduced

in Sections 6 and 7, together with the coupling to the hydrody-

namics. They naturally apply also to (5.5.21)–(5.5.23). Another

issue is what is the relevant density of a multi-phase mixture,

when evaluating the buoyancy force acting on a submerged

body. Usually, one takes either the pure ﬂuid density or the

effective mixture density. It seems however, that both can be

relevant, depending on the relation between the body size

and the size and spacing of the dispersed particle in the

mixture.

5.5.4. Retention time distribution

A brief note is in place, on the retention time distribution

(RTD) in equipments. It is the very ﬁrst thing one must do,

before starting any kind of thoughts about the processes in

a given apparatus. We assume that the tracer concentration

obeys (5.5.21), being one-way coupled with(5.5.22) and (5.5.23).

Strictly speaking, the diffusion term (D) in (5.5.21) is inconsis-

tent with the role of a ‘pure ﬂow follower’. The proper tracer

should stick to a ﬂuid particle, and not to diffuse. Therefore, it

should obey:

Dc

Dt

= 0(mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.24)

which is (5.5.21) with D≡0. This can directly be solved

numerically, together with (5.5.22) and (5.5.23), to get the full

information about the ﬂow and concentration ﬁelds. Then, it

is easy to monitor numerically the tracer content at the exit, to

create the RTD response curve. This is not the way we wish to

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 851

go in practical applications of RTD. Let us treat the unwanted

diffusion term in (5.5.21). One cure would be the assumption,

that the ﬂow is much faster than the tracer diffusion. This is

not usually done, and even if, this is usually not true. Another,

andmore practical cure, is toassume that the tracer is simulta-

neously transported by two mechanisms, molecular diffusion

(D

m

) andturbulent dispersion(D

t

). Eq. (5.5.21) canbe treatedas

follows. Upon the Reynolds decomposition, the actual veloc-

ity ﬁeld splits into the mean and ﬂuctuating parts, v=V+v

/

.

The convective term in (5.5.21) becomes (V·)c +(v

/

·)c, keep-

ing the physical meaning of the convective mass ﬂux, j =J +j

/

.

The mean term, J =(V·)c, is harmless. The ﬂuctuating term is

modelled as the mass ﬂux driven by the turbulent dispersion,

j

/

=D

t

2

c. Eq. (5.5.21) thus reads

∂c

∂t

÷(V · ∇)c = (D

m

÷D

t

)∇

2

c (mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.25)

Sufﬁce to require that D

m

_D

t

, which can even be realistic,

at least insome ﬂowsituations. This must, however, very care-

fully be checked in slow ﬂows in microchannels. In case of 1D

dominant main ﬂow, we have V=V=Q/S, and the tracer equa-

tion is uncoupled from the ﬂow equation, and can be solved

independently:

∂c

∂t

÷V

∂c

∂x

= D

t

∂

2

c

∂x

2

(mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.26)

Fixing the coordinates to the mean ﬂowVdeletes the mean

convection term and yields

∂c

∂t

= D

t

∂

2

c

∂x

2

(mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.27)

which is diffusion in stagnant medium. At absence of turbu-

lent ﬂuctuations, the axial dispersion is zero, D

t

=0, and the

equation

∂c

∂t

= 0(mass) [kg/m

3

s]. (5.5.28)

solves to c =c

0

=const. It is the plug ﬂow, where the cross-

sectionarea markedwithc

0

is carriedthroughthe systemwith

the mean speed V. Anticipating the scaling applied to Eq. (7.1),

(5.5.26) becomes the RDT analogue of Eq. (7.4):

Fo ÷Pc = 1. (5.5.29)

Here, the numbers are deﬁned using the turbulent diffusiv-

ity:

Fourier number. Fo =

L

2

D

t

T

(unsteadiness)

(turbulent mass diffusion)

.

Peclet number. Pc =

LV

D

t

(hydrodynamic convection)

(turbulent mass diffusion)

.

(5.5.30)

Two ways leads to the exclusivity of the Pe number occur-

rence in the RTD problems. First, use the basic time scaling,

T=L/V, and the Fourier number becomes the Peclet number,

Fo =Pe. This makes Eq. (5.5.29): 1+1=1/Pe. Second, ﬁxing the

coordinates to the mean ﬂow V deletes the convection term

(Pe), and by the same scaling Fo becomes Pe. This makes Eq.

(5.5.29): Pe +0=1, which corresponds to (5.5.27). Thus, Pe is

the only important number in RTD, with the 1D dominant

main ﬂow. Contrasting all these assumptions with the real-

ity of the actual ﬂows through real technological systems, it

would rather be naive to expect that Pe, whence the single

scalar quantity D

t

(also called: axial dispersion D

ax

), can con-

tain the whole truth about the hydrodynamics. We are in need

of something smarter.

Actually, there has been an attempt is this direction, and a

kind of Smart RTD (SRTD) has been suggested. Imagine that a

ﬂuid particle has a watch that measures its age t, being set to

zero at entering the equipment. Thus, t is the retention time

of the ﬂuid particle. At non-relativistic motions, the time on

the watch coincides with the ‘common’ time t on the labora-

tory clock. The trivial and seemingly useless physical fact that

t =t can be recasted into a useful form. Because the watch is

ﬁxed to the moving ﬂuid particle, its age t must follow the

convective derivative:

Dt

Dt

= 1 (retention time) [-]. (5.5.31)

which is already dimensionless. Here, we assume that the

quantity t can be considered to be the ﬁeld quantity. It is rather

counter-intuitive, but any ﬂuid particle located at time t in

place x can be assigned the amount of time t(x, t) it has spent

inthe equipment. Thus solving the above equationfor ‘conser-

vation of particle age’, we obtain the real ‘distribution’ of the

local retentiontime withinthe equipment. Having the ﬁeld t(x,

t), we can easily calculate the ﬁeld of concentration, reaction

rate, conversion, etc. Eq. (5.5.31) canbe treated ina similar way

like (5.5.24). It candirectly be solvednumerically, together with

(5.5.22) and (5.5.23), to get the full information about the ﬂow

and RTDﬁelds. It can also be simpliﬁed, to save the computing

power. After the decomposition, V+v

/

, we have the following

counterpart of (5.5.25):

∂t

∂t

÷(V · ∇)t ÷(v

/

· ∇)t = 1 (retention time) [-]. (5.5.32)

The mean ‘ﬂux of age’, (V·)t, is physically plausible, since

the stream passing through a given location contains parti-

cles of various age. The ﬂuctuating part, (v

/

·)t, can either

be modelled by a turbulent diffusion term, j

/

=D

ts

2

t, or left

as it is and take a suitable closure for the ﬂuctuating veloc-

ity v

/

. It can be modelled, e.g. by random functions reﬂecting

truly the local structure of the turbulence. There is wealth of

information about the scaling behaviour of turbulent velocity

ﬂuctuations in various ﬂow situations, in the literature. This

brings us naturally to the stochastic modelling of RTD. Con-

sidering the 1D dominant main ﬂow, where the mean speed

is a constant, V=V=Q/S, we have the counterpart of (5.5.26):

∂t

∂t

÷(V ÷v

/

)

∂t

∂x

= 1 (retention time) [-]. (5.5.33)

In fully 1D case, both V and v

/

are scalars. Fixing the coor-

dinates to the mean ﬂow V deletes the mean convection term

and yields the following counterpart of (5.5.27):

∂t

∂t

÷v

/

∂t

∂x

= 1 (retention time) [-]. (5.5.34)

which can be treated within the framework of the stochas-

tic differential equations, with a suitable random v

/

= ¡ (x. t).

At absence of turbulent ﬂuctuations, v

/

= 0, the equation

852 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

becomes

∂t

∂t

= 1 (retention time) [-] (5.5.35)

and solves to t =t. It is the plug ﬂow, where all ﬂuid particles

in the moving coordinate system have age t =t. This age cor-

responds to the position x =Vt from the inlet, measured in the

stationary coordinate. With pipe of length L, the particles exit

at age t =t =L/V.

6. Transport of heat

For the transport of heat in a moving environment, three bal-

ances must be considered together: ﬂuid mass balance (5.1.1),

ﬂuid momentum balance (5.2.1), and the heat balance, which

can be written as

∂±

∂t

÷(v · ∇)± = k∇

2

± [K/s]

(unsteadiness) ÷(convection) = (diffusion). (6.1)

Choosing the variables (±, v, x, t), their scales (O, V, L, T),

and the parameters (k), we get by scaling:

O

T

÷

VO

L

=

kO

L

2

[O/T]. (6.2)

Dividing by Othe temperature scale disappears, and we get

1

T

÷

V

L

=

k

L

2

[1/T]. (6.3)

Dividing by the diffusion term (k/L

2

), because of tradition,

we get

L

2

kT

÷

LV

k

= 1. (6.4)

We can divide by any term, but then the DN would not

have their usual names. The diffusion term is the most typi-

cal one for heat and mass transport phenomena, so it is the

natural scaling basis. Assigning the DN their proper names

we get

Fo ÷Pc = 1. (6.5)

The following DN arise, having a clear physical meaning in

terms of process rates:

Fourier number. Fo =

L

2

kT

(unsteadiness)

(heat diffusion)

.

Peclet number. Pc =

LV

k

(hydrodynamic convection)

(heat diffusion)

.

(6.6)

When using the basic time scaling, T=L/V, the Fourier

number becomes the Peclet number, Fo =Pe. The unsteady

and convective effects are then comparable, as a direct

consequence of our choice of scaling. This may not always cor-

respond to reality. The Peclet number facilitates the coupling

between the hydrodynamics and heat transfer: it compares

the transport by hydrodynamic convection(ﬂowof medium, V)

and the molecular diffusion of heat (heat diffusivity k). Amod-

iﬁed version of Pe is the Graetz number, Gr =(mass ﬂow)c

p

/zL,

where the convective speed is recasted into the mass

ﬂow.

Since we customarily divided (6.3) with the diffusion term,

both numbers are based on the diffusion rate. If we want other

combinations, we must compose them. These compositions

can contain thermal and hydrodynamic quantities to reﬂect

their coupling. One route leads to the Prandtl number:

Prandtl number. Pr =

v

k

(momentum diffusion)

(heat diffusion)

. (6.7)

The Prandtl number is prepared as follows. Take the Peclet

number, Pe =LV/k. Replace the hydrodynamic convection (LV)

with the hydrodynamic diffusion (v) with help of Re, LV=v Re,

to get Pe =v Re/k. Divide by Re, since it is dimensionless, to get

Pe =v/k. Give the product a new name: the Prandtl number,

Pr =Pe/Re. This number is often used in thermal processes,

where the ratio of two material properties of ﬂuid determines

how much the ﬂow is affected by heat diffusion (thermal con-

vection, boiling, etc.).

Another route leads to the heat Grashof number, which is

typical for heat-driven buoyancy effects:

Grashof number. Cr =

˛LOgL

3

v

2

(buoyancy force)

(viscous force)

. (6.8)

Take the hydrodynamic Archimedes number, Ar =(L,/,)Ga.

Replace the general expression for the density difference L,

with a speciﬁc expression for the thermal expansivity of ﬂuid,

L,/, =˛LO, where ˛ is the coefﬁcient of thermal expansion.

Plug it into Ar to get Ar =(˛LO)Ga. Give it name the heat

Grashof number, alias the thermal Archimedes number. Gr

is encountered in thermoﬂuid mechanics. It is essentially a

hydrodynamic number, where the heat enters as the ‘buoyant

agent’, to produce density gradients.

A close derivative of Gr is the thermal Rayleigh number,

Ra=Gr Pr:

Rayleigh number. Ru =

˛LOgL

3

vk

(buoyancy force)

(viscous force)

. (6.9)

This number is decisive for the onset of thermal convection

and its evolutionvia series of bifurcation. It compares the driv-

ing thermal disturbance LO acting on a parcel of ﬂuid, with

rates of transport processes that tend to smear it out (diffusion

of momentum v and heat k).

The way the above composite numbers are ‘derived’ by

making various combinations and replacements seems to be

neither transparent nor free from ambiguity and subjectivity.

Actually, they can be obtained correctly, from the correspond-

ing governing equations. For instance, Pr, Gr and Ra appear

naturally by scaling the coupled equations for ﬂow and heat

transfer, under a useful approximation (Boussinesq), where

the only buoyancy-affected density is that at the external

force ﬁeld term (,f). Often, the linearization near a uniform

base state is considered (stability studies), or the uniform part

of the density ﬁeld is absorbed in the pressure term, which

gives the buoyancy termproportional to the density difference

L, =, −,

0

. Depending on the scales employed, the numbers

appear in different places, as either Pr and Ra, or Pr and Gr.

Note that, based on the physical analogy and scaling argu-

ments, it is possible to introduce Ra also for dispersed layers,

e.g. for bubbly layers in bubbly columns, Ra=g

/

eL

3

/v

mix

D

hydro

(g

/

– is the reduced gravity, e –volume fraction of bubbles

(voidage, gas holdup), v

mix

–effective viscosity of bubbly mix-

ture, D

hydro

–hydrodynamic diffusivity of bubbles).

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 853

Other numbers are also related to buoyancy effects. A

basic quantity is the buoyant (Brunt–Vaisala) frequency ω

of the density difference driven oscillator, (d

2

z/dt

2

) =ω

2

z,

where ω=((g/,)(d,

0

/dz))

1/2

. It is an elementary prototype for

internal gravity waves in stratiﬁed environments. Here we

can encounter the Richardson number, in several variations.

The gradient Richardson number Ri =ω

2

/(∂u/∂z)

2

. The global

Richardson number is Ri =g

/

L/V

2

. Note that it relates to the

Froude number Fr’ =V

2

/g

/

L =1/Ri, whenFr is correctedfor buoy-

ancy (apostrophe’). Other kinds of Ri also exist. When both

buoyancy (stratiﬁcation) and rotation are present, there are

numbers indicating their relative effects (stratiﬁcation param-

eter, Burger number). The buoyant frequency also follows from

the gravitational time scaling T=V/g in (5.2.6). Taking V=L/T,

the time scale becomes T=L/gT, which in terms of frequency

ω∼1/T reads ω

2

=g/L. Employing the reduced gravity g →g

/

to

account for the density variance, and designating L,/L the

scale estimate for (d,

0

/dz), we get what was due.

Boundary conditions in heat transfer are of two kinds. Either

the temperature ±

w

is given at the boundary ∂˝ or the heat

ﬂux j

w

through it. The former case is simple to scale, ±

w

/O.

The latter is given by

j

w

= −z(∇±)

w

[J/m

2

s]. (6.10)

where z is the heat conductivity. To calculate the ﬂux, the tem-

perature ﬁeld must be known, which is not always the case.

Therefore, another expression for the ﬂux is introduced, with

help of the empirical heat transfer coefﬁcient k

h

:

j

w

= k

h

(L±)

w

[J/m

2

s]. (6.11)

where (L±)

w

is the bulk–boundary temperature difference.

Equating (6.10) and (6.11) yields the formula for the coefﬁcient:

k

h

= −

z(∇±)

w

(L±)

w

[J/m

2

s K]. (6.12)

A simple scaling of (6.12) by (z/L) leads to the Nusselt num-

ber Nu (also Biot number, Bi):

Nu =

k

h

z,L

. (6.13)

which is nothing but the dimensionless heat transfer coef-

ﬁcient. The length scale L comes from the near-interface

temperature gradient in (6.10), ()

w

∼1/L, and should relate,

e.g. to the thickness of the thermal boundary layer. Although

Nu does not present any intellectual challenge on the grounds

of scaling, it is the most desired quantity in the heat transfer,

since everyone wants to know how much heat passes through

the interface, without computing the temperature and ﬂow

ﬁelds. Numerous correlations do exist for Nu in the engineer-

ing literature.

7. Transport of mass

For the transport of mass of a solute in a moving environment,

three balances must be considered together: ﬂuid mass bal-

ance (5.1.1), ﬂuid momentum balance (5.2.1), and the solute

mass balance, which can be written as

∂c

∂t

÷(v · ∇)c = D∇

2

c ÷r [kg/m

3

s]

(unsteadiness) ÷(convection) = (diffusion) ÷(reaction). (7.1)

Choosing the variables (c, v, r, x, t), their scales (C, V, R, L,

T), and the parameters (D), we get by scaling:

C

T

÷

VC

L

=

DC

L

2

÷R [C,T]. (7.2)

Dividing by the diffusion term(DC/L

2

), because of tradition,

we get

L

2

DT

÷

LV

D

= 1 ÷

RL

2

DC

. (7.3)

We can divide by any term, but then the DNwould not have

their usual names. The diffusion term is the most typical for

heat and mass transport phenomena, so it is natural to take it

as the scaling basis. Assigning the DN their proper names we

get

Fo ÷Pc = 1 ÷Du

2

. (7.4)

The following DN arise, having a clear physical meaning in

terms of process rates:

Fourier number. Fo =

L

2

DT

(unsteadiness)

(mass diffusion)

.

Peclet number. Pc =

LV

D

(hydrodynamic convection)

(mass diffusion)

.

Damkohler number. Du =

RL

2

DC

1,2

(reaction)

(mass diffusion)

.

(7.5)

When using the basic time scaling, T=L/V, the Fourier

number becomes the Peclet number, Fo =Pe. The unsteady

and convective effects are then comparable, as a direct con-

sequence of our choice of scaling. This may not always

correspond to reality. The Peclet number facilitates the cou-

pling between the hydrodynamics and mass transfer: it

compares the transport by hydrodynamic convection (ﬂow of

the medium, V) and the molecular diffusion of mass (mass

diffusivity D).

Since we customarily divided (7.2) by the diffusion term,

the numbers are based on the diffusion rate. If we want other

combinations, we must compose them. These compositions

can contain diffusion and hydrodynamic quantities to reﬂect

their coupling. One route leads to the Schmidt number:

Schmidt number. Sc =

v

D

(momentum diffusion)

(mass diffusion)

. (7.6)

The Schmidt number is prepared as follows. Take the Peclet

number, Pe =LV/D. Replace the hydrodynamic convection (LV)

with the hydrodynamic diffusion (v) with help of Re, LV=v Re,

to get Pe =v Re/D. Divide by Re, since it is dimensionless, to get

Pe =v/D. Give the product a new name: the Schmidt number,

Sc =Pe/Re (also: mass or diffusionPr). This number is oftenused

in mass transfer processes, where the transport rate is large

enough to affect the ﬂow(e.g. fast-phase changes, boiling, dis-

tillation, etc.). In turbulence, the viscosity and diffusivity can

be not molecular but ‘turbulent’ (eddy viscosity; coefﬁcient of

dispersion), hence turbulent Schmidt number.

Another route leads to the mass Grashof number, which is

typical for mass-driven buoyancy effects:

Grashof number. Cr =

ˇ LcgL

3

v

2

(buoyancy force)

(viscous force)

. (7.7)

854 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

Take the hydrodynamic Archimedes number, Ar =(L,/,)Ga.

Replace the general expression for the density difference L,

with a speciﬁc expression for the concentration expansivity of

ﬂuid, L,/, =ˇ Lc, where ˇ is the coefﬁcient of concentrational

expansion. Plug it into Ar to get Ar =(ˇ Lc)Ga. Give it name the

mass Grashof number, alias the diffusionArchimedes number.

Gr is encountered in ﬂows with ineligible concentration gradi-

ents, whichmay interfere withthe ﬂow(e.g. halinoconvection,

double diffusive convection, thermosolutal convection). It is

essentially a hydrodynamic number, where the mass enters

as the ‘buoyant agent’, to produce density gradients.

Aclose derivative of Gr is the concentration (salinity, mass)

Rayleigh number, Ra=Gr Pr:

Rayleigh number. Ru =

ˇ LcgL

3

vD

(buoyancy force)

(viscous force)

. (7.8)

The physical picture is similar like with the thermal Ra:

concentrationally buoyant ﬂuid parcel driven by Lc moves,

and diffusion of momentum (v) and mass (D) tend to oppose

the motion and to weaken the driving force. Instead of ˇ Lc,

more simple choice Lc/c

0

can also be used. Mass Ra is decisive

for halinoconvection. Boththermal andmass buoyancy effects

are present indouble diffusive convection, which, besides oth-

ers, has application in oceanology (hot/cold, more/less salty

water) and geology (layering in magna chambers).

Besides the above coupling between diffusion and hydro-

dynamics via Pe, there is also coupling between the diffusion

and reaction via Da. A typical situation occurs in heteroge-

neous catalysis, where the diffusion and reaction interplay.

Solving the corresponding equation in case of a model situ-

ation (a cylindrical pore in a catalyst, a spherical pellet), we

obtain the concentration proﬁle, whose mean value c

m

nor-

malized by the bulk concentrationc

0

is the effectiveness factor

F =c

m

/c

0

, which also is ∼(mean reaction rate)/(maximumrate).

The model solution for a pore gives F ∼tanh(Th)/Th, where

the Thiele number (modulus) is Th=L(k/D)

1/2

. Here, L is the

pore length and k the rate constant. Note that for r =kc, the

Damkohler number coincides withthe Thiele number, Da=Th.

Often, a ‘generalized’ Th is introduced, to retain the last equal-

ity also for reactions of higher orders. Reaction and mass

transfer is combined in the Hatta number, Ha. There also are

numbers typical for the reaction kinetics itself. For instance,

the Arrhenius number Ah compares the activation energy and

kinetic energy of molecules.

Boundary conditions in mass transfer are of two kinds. Either

the concentration c

w

is given at the boundary ∂˝ or the mass

ﬂux j

w

through it. The former case is simple to scale, c

w

/C. The

latter is given by

j

w

= − D(∇c)

w

[kg/m

2

s]. (7.9)

where Dis the (mass) diffusivity. To calculate the ﬂux, the con-

centration ﬁeld must be known, which is not always the case.

Therefore, another expression for the ﬂux is introduced, with

help of the empirical mass transfer coefﬁcient k

m

:

j

w

= k

m

(Lc)

w

[kg/m

2

s]. (7.10)

where (Lc)

w

is the bulk–boundary concentration difference.

Equating (7.9) and (7.10) yields the formula for the coefﬁcient:

k

m

= −

D(∇c)

w

(Lc)

w

[m/s]. (7.11)

A simple scaling of (7.11) by (D/L) leads to the Sherwood

number Sh (also Sherman number, Sm):

Sn =

k

m

D,L

. (7.12)

which is nothing but the dimensionless mass transfer coef-

ﬁcient. The length scale L comes from the near-interface

concentration gradient in (7.9), ()

w

∼1/L, and should relate,

e.g. to the thickness of the concentration boundary layer.

Although Sh does not present any intellectual challenge on

the grounds of scaling, it is the most desired quantity in the

mass transfer, since everyone wants to know how much mass

passes through the interface, without computing the concen-

tration and ﬂow ﬁelds. Numerous correlations do exist for Sh

in the engineering literature.

8. Correlations

In the preceding sections, many important DN were intro-

duced and commented, and most of themare listed in Table 2.

They can be divided into two classes. First, the basic (primary)

DN that follows directly from scaling the balance equations

and their BC. Second, the other (secondary) DN that are

derived from the basic, or formed by their combinations, or

created ‘artiﬁcially’. The basic DN are the following: momen-

tum transport (Eu, Fr, Re, Sr) and BC (Bo, Ca, We, Ma); heat

transport (Fo, Pe) andBC(Nu); mass transport (Da, Fo, Pe) andBC

(Sh). The basic numbers and their link to their closest relatives

is shown in Fig. 4.

All the numbers obtained by the equation scaling (Section

4) can be reproduced by the dimensional analysis (Section

3). However, we must know beforehand the relevant physi-

cal quantities that should be grouped. It seems that most of

DN in engineering were ﬁrst obtained by DA. Here, we prefer

to relate them to the equations, to give them better physical

interpretation.

Regardless of their origin, DN are used for making corre-

lations. There are two main problems encountered. First, to

choose suitable DN. We need a complete list of independent

numbers. Second, to choose suitable characteristic scales to

evaluate the DN. Both the numbers and the scales must be

relevant for the problem. It is very difﬁcult to choose them

correctly without the sound knowledge of the underlying

processes and the physical meaning of the numbers. Here,

the numbers generated by scaling of equations have a great

advantage over those produced by dimensional analysis. They

containthe correct quantities andhave a clear meaning—ratio

of different effects in terms of common physical quantities

(force, rate, time, speed, etc.). However, the problem with the

scales still remains. The procedure of equationscaling cangive

certain hints what should the proper scales be, but this is not

always sufﬁcient.

Some choices of scales are apparently wrong. For instance,

consider the Bond number, Bo =L, gL

2

/o, which comes from

the normal component of the free-slip boundary condition.

This number is highly relevant for behaviour of bubbles in

liquids. Accordingly, it enters numerous correlations for bub-

ble size and speed, interfacial area, mass transfer coefﬁcient,

which are designed for bubble column reactors. Which length

scale L is appropriate? The physics strongly recommends the

bubble size. Despite this, many authors have been using the

bubble column size, which is apparently wrong. When we look

at books andreviewpapers onbubble columns, it is easytoﬁnd

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 855

Table 2 – List of dimensionless numbers

Archimedes number Ar =(L,/,)gL

3

/v

2

(=(L,/,)Ga)

Bagnold number Ba=,

p

,L

2

/j

Biot number Bi =Nu

Bodenstein number Bd=VL/D

ax

Bond number* Bo =(L),gL

2

/o (=We/Fr)

Capillary number* Ca=jV/o

Cauchy number Ch=,V

2

/E (=Mc

2

)

Cavitation number Cv=LP/,V

2

Damkohler number* Da=(RL

2

/DC)

1/2

Dean number Dn=Re(r

pipe

/r

curv.

)

1/2

Deborah number De =T

r

/T

f

Eckert number Ec =V

2

/c

p

O

Ekman number Ek =v/˝L

2

Eotvos number Eo =Bo

Euler number* Eu=P/,V

2

Fourier number* Fo =L

2

/kT (heat)

Fourier number* Fo =L

2

/DT (mass)

Froude number* Fr =V

2

/gL

Galileo number Ga=gL

3

/v

2

(=Re

2

/Fr)

Grashof number Gr =˛LOgL

3

/v

2

(heat)

Grashof number Gr =ˇ LCgL

3

/v

2

(mass)

Knudsen number Kn=L

molec

/L

domain

Laplace number La=P/(o/L) (=EuWe)

Lewis number Le =k/D (=Sc/Pr)

Ljascenko number Ly =(,/L,)(V

3

/gv) (=Re

3

/Ar)

Mach number Mc =V/V

sound

Marangoni number* Ma=Lo/jV

Morton number Mo =gj

4

L,/,

2

o

3

(=We

3

/Fr Re

4

)

Nusselt number* Nu=k

heat

/(z/L)

Peclet number* Pe =LV/k (heat)

Peclet number* Pe =LV/D (mass)

Prandtl number Pr =Pe

heat

/Re =v/k

Rayleigh number Ra=˛LOgL

3

/vk (heat) (=Gr Pr)

Rayleigh number Ra=ˇ LCgL

3

/vD (mass) (=Gr Sc)

Rayleigh number Ra=g

/

eL

3

/v

mix

D

hydro

(dispersion)

Reynolds number* Re =,LV/j=LV/v

Richardson number Ri =(L,/,)(gL/V

2

) (=(L,/,)/Fr)

Rossby number Ro =V/˝L

Schmidt number Sc =v/D (=Pe

mass

/Re)

Sherwood number* Sh=k

mass

/(L/D)

Stanton number Sn=(k

heat

/V)(k/z) (heat) (=Nu/Pe

heat

)

Stanton number Sn=k

mass

/V (mass) (=Sh/Pe

mass

)

Stokes number St =,

p

LV/j

Strouhal number* Sr =L/TV

ˇ

Sebestov´ a number

ˇ

Se =1/Mc

Thiele number Th=L(k

reac

/D)

1/2

Weber number* We =(L),LV

2

/o

Basic numbers are marked by an asterisk (*) (L), means , or L,.

Note large diversity both in names and notation of dimensionless

numbers in literature. Those used here are by no means the best or

obligatory.

that this mistake occurs in a great number of correlation for-

mulas published over more than 30 years, some of them even

became the classics. These correlations are used for design-

ing factories and plants, and they work well. Imagine howthey

would work, if the correlations would be correct.

Some choices of scales are ambiguous. We suffer from the

presence of more that one candidate for the length scale. For

instance, consider the Rayleigh number, Ra=˛LOgL

3

/vk ∼L

3

,

for a natural convection in a horizontal ﬂuid layer heated from

below. In case of inﬁnite layer of height H, the obvious choice

is L =H. In case of a layer conﬁned also by two lateral walls

separated by distance A, both H and A may be chosen. Thus,

there are several possibilities, L

3

→H

3

, H

2

A, HA

2

, A

3

. Which

one is correct? Finally, when the layer is inside a ﬁnite con-

tainer ABH, the combinations grow. We can resort to the

(rather subjective) argument of ‘importance’. For instance, we

can think that the smallest dimension is the most important.

However, taking L =H

3

and ignoring the lateral walls at a thin

layer, simply because A>H, gives a wrong result. The failure is

especially evident in stability considerations. The presence of

walls reduces the spectrum of possible wavenumbers (modes)

substantially, and in effect, stabilizes the layer with respect

to the onset of convection. Therefore, the critical value of Ra

depends on both H and A. The stability issues are very sen-

sitive to the proper choice of scales. For instance, the critical

value of Ra is different for rectangular and circular ﬁnite con-

tainers, of the same size. Thus, the argument of ‘importance’

may work, provided that it is physically based: resolve the

processes occurring along different directions, ﬁnd their inter-

relation, andassess their relevance ina givensituation. Incase

of convection, the buoyant rise is vertical, and the heat and

momentum diffusion is horizontal, say, to the ﬁrst approxi-

mation. It is unlikely, that the same choice of scales applies

equally well to convection in inﬁnite horizontal layer and in

thin vertical slots.

Some choices of scales are evenmore ambiguous. By select-

ing the scales, we can select the view of the world. For

instance, imagine a two-phase ﬂowina long thinelectrolysing

microchannel of size ABC=100m10mm1m. In

these days of the scale-down boom, such an equipment is

not unusual. At the wall, there are electrodes and bubbles

are produced by electrolysis. The spectrum of bubbles sizes is

quite broad, fromfewmicrons, as they are formed, to fewcen-

timetres, as they coalesce. The point is to choose the proper

length scale and to deﬁne Re for making correlation formulas

designed for the operational quantities (e.g. liquid ﬂow, bub-

ble size andconcentration, pressure drop, wall shear, etc.). The

choice L =A means the side view at the channel. We see the

ﬂow between two virtually inﬁnite parallel horizontal planes,

100m apart. This situation is known as the Poiseuille ﬂow.

The choice L =B means the top view at a segment of the chan-

nel. We see the ﬂow between two ﬁnite and closely spaced

walls, 1cm1m in size. This situation is known as the ﬂow

throughthe Helle–Shawcell. The choice L =C means the global

view at the channel. We see the ﬂow between two ﬁnite par-

allel plates, which are narrow and 1-m long. This situation

corresponds to the development of boundary layers in a rect-

angular channel. In these cases, different ﬂow proﬁles along

different directions are relevant. What length scale should

then be chosen for the ﬂow correlations? One way around

this severe anisometry (1:100:10,000) seems to be the hydraulic

radius 2AB/(A+B) =99m, which, however, leads to nowhere.

Taking this ﬁgure actually means selecting the picture of a

ﬂow through a 99m dia capillary, which is far from being

related to any possible view at our ﬂow situation. So far, the

L for a single-phase ﬂow has only been considered. The case

with the bubbles is left as a homework for students; enough to

tease them is to ask for introducing the correct Re for a bubble

column.

In correlations, the composed numbers are often used,

obtained by combining several simple numbers with clear

physical meaning. The product, however, can have no clear

meaning. What cansafely be combined? In(5.2.9), we combine

two numbers, Fr and Re, generated by the same govern-

ing equation (5.2.1), to compose Ga. It is acceptable, when

they share the same scales. If not, then Ga would, for

instance, be Ga=Re

2

/Fr ={(,V

/ 2

/L

/

)/(jV

//

/L

// 2

)}

2

/{(,V

/ 2

/L

/

)/(,g)},

where we correctly discriminate between the inertial (

/

)

and viscous (

//

) scales for length and speed. Even with the

856 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

Fig. 4 – Flow-chart of scaling governing equations (momentum, heat, mass) and boundary conditions.

uniscale (L =L

/

=L

//

), we encounter the problem of DN alge-

bra. Ga actually is {(inertia)/(viscosity)}

2

/{(inertia)/(gravity)} =

(inertia)·(gravity)/(viscosity)

2

, which is in a variance with the

usual interpretation(gravity)/(viscosity), where the powers are

ignored. Can we ignore them? This dubious algebra is also

encountered when we try to eliminate (speed from Fr using

Re) or separate (speed and size in sedimentation using Ly)

some inconvenient quantities. In this spirit, we can create

any thinkable combination of DN, since their dimension equals

unity [1]. For instance, the combinationEu

2

Re Fr would usually

be interpreted as (pressure)/(viscosity)·(gravity). Upon insert-

ing the physical meanings, it becomes: (p,i) · (p,i) · (i,v) · (i,g) =

(p,v) · (p,g) = p

2

,vg. in brief notation (i – inertia, v – viscos-

ity, g – gravity, p – pressure). With the viscous (p ∼ v) and

gravitational (p∼g) scaling for pressure, we have: (vg,vg) =

DNU. This means that the physical meaning of the combina-

tion equals ‘unity’, the dimensionless number unity (DNU),

since the physical meanings of the individual numbers ‘can-

cel’. These manipulations are formally correct, but where is

the physics? Actually, the combination Re Fr Eu

2

is equal to

P

2

/g,jV, where the group (g,jV) is not very transparent, far

from the expected (viscosity)·(gravity). Only after unravelling

it, g,jV=(g,L)·(jV/L), we can recognized the gravitational and

viscous scaling for P, see (5.2.7).

There are combinations of numbers originating from

different governing equations, which can express their cou-

pling (Pr =Pe/Re; Ra=Gr Pr), or only comparison of analogous

material properties (Pr =Pe

heat

/Re =v/k; Sc =Pe

mass

/Re =v/D;

Le =Sc/Pr =k/D).

There are combinations of numbers coming from equa-

tions and boundary conditions, which sometimes, fortunately,

belong together (Bo =We/Fr; La=EuWe; Mo =We

3

/Fr Re

4

, Stan-

ton (Margoulis) number Sn=Nu/Pe

heat

or Sh/Pe

mass

). The

Morton number is often used in bubbly research. A closer look

reveals that the physical meaning is: Mo = (i,c)

3

,(i,g) · (i,v)

4

=

(gv

4

),(c

3

i

2

), in brief notation (c – capillarity), which becomes

(gv),(ci), at the usual ignoring of powers. In literature, Mo is

interpreted as capillarity/buoyancy, viscosity/capillarity, etc.

Which one is correct? How then to interpret the Tadaki num-

ber, Td=Re Mo

0.23

?

There can be combinations of numbers belonging to dif-

ferent physical contexts. Why not to eliminate the speed from

Fr by the Mach number? Ga=Mc

2

/Fr thus obtained is formally

correct, but hardly applies to a free rise of a bubble in a col-

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 857

umn. There are no strict rules what canbe combined and what

cannot, and common physical sense is highly welcome when

making these combinations.

In correlations, some quantities or effects are often

neglected, as being ‘small’. It is tempting to say that inertia

dominates when Re >1. It is however not completely right.

First, this number is only a scale estimate of two forces, the

roughest assessment we can have. There also are possible

numerical factors missing in this formula, reﬂecting the tun-

ing of Re for a particular ﬂow situation. Its value also depends

on the choice of scales. Second, this number stands in the

ﬂow equation at a dimensionless term that is ∼O(1) but not

exactly=1. Accordingly, it is better to say ‘small’ and ‘large’ Re,

instead of Re <1 and Re >1. Support for this suggestion comes

from the following. The laminar–turbulent (viscous–inertial)

transition occurs not exactly at Re =1, but at about Re ∼10

n

,

where n≈3–4 for pipes, 5–6 for ﬂat plate, and varies in a wide

range for ﬂowpast different bodies. Likewise, the onset of ther-

mal convection does not occur exactly at Ra=1, but at Ra∼10

2

to 10

3

(depending on BC, etc.). The ﬂow in microchannels is

not completely free molecular at Kn>1 and no-slip continuous

at Kn<1, but at about Kn>10

1

and Kn<10

−2

say. Compress-

ibility effects are encountered not exactly at Mc =1, but the

recommended ﬁgure is about 0.3.

Conclude that building sensible and reliable correlations is

far from being trivial. Besides choosing the proper dimension-

less numbers, one must also choose the proper characteristic

scales. Choosing these scales is problematic due to our (either

intentional or not) ignorance of the underlying physics, pres-

ence of processes operating in different spatial directions, and

multiscale nature of the system. Care should be taken when

combining different numbers, and their origin and physical

compatibility should be kept in mind.

9. Remark on literature

In sake of the text cohesion, there are almost no references

to the literature through the previous chapters, and the com-

ments on the main information sources are lumped into this

part.

In the ﬁrst part of the Reference section (1. Dimen-

sional analysis), there are books fully devoted to DA and the

related problems like similarity and modelling (1.1. Books on

DA): Baker et al., 1973, Barenblatt, 1987, 1996, 2003, Becker,

1976, Birkhoff, 1960, Bluman and Cole, 1974, Bridgman, 1922,

Clement-O’Brien and Lawler, 1998, Craig, 2003, Curren, 2005,

De Jong, 1967, Dolezalik, 1959, Duncan, 1953, Focken, 1953,

Gukhman, 1965, Hornung, 2006, Huntley, 1952, Ipsen, 1960,

Isaacson and Isaacson, 1975, Jerrard and McNeill, 1992, Kline,

1965, Kozesnik, 1983, Kurth, 1972, Land, 1972, Langhaar,

1951, Loebel, 1986, Massey, 1971, Murphy, 1950, Palacios,

1964, Pankhurst, 1964, Perry and Chilton, 1973, Porter, 1946,

Schuring, 1977, Sedov, 1959, Skoglund, 1967, Stubbings, 1948,

Szirtes, 1998, Taylor, 1974, Weast and Astle, 1981, Zierep, 1971,

Zlokarnik, 1991. These are useful for familiarizing with the

many aspects of this powerful method, as well as with its his-

torical development and many practical examples of its use.

Two book chapters are also included. One from the Perry’s

canonical handbook, and the other from the Birkhoff (1960)

classical account on ﬂuid mechanics. They represent two lim-

its of the spectrum, with the practicality on one side, and the

deep theoretical footing on the other. The important concept

of ‘similarity solution’ to spatio-temporal problems lacking

explicit length scales is treated, e.g. in Bluman and Cole (1974),

and, in brief, this topic is covered in many texts on partial

differential equations. The uneasy concept of the interme-

diate asymptotics, which transcends the traditional DA, is

strongly presented in the book of Barenblatt (1996), which

is based on the original Russian edition from the seventies.

Its simpliﬁed version (Barenblatt, 2003) is especially suitable

for students. Besides the books, there is a selection of arti-

cles on DA and its applications (1.2. Articles on DA): Astarita,

1997, Boucher and Alves, 1959, 1963, Buckingham, 1914, 1915,

Cheng and Cheng, 2004, Dodds and Rothman, 2000, Gunther,

1975, Gunther andMorgado, 2003, Klinkenberg, 1955, Lykoudis,

1990, Macagno, 1971, Prothero, 2002, Rozen and Kostanyan,

2002, Sandler, 1970, Sjoberg, 1987, Stephens and Dunbar, 1993,

Vogel, 1998, Wesson, 1980, West, 1984. The references relate

to both the area of the chemical engineering and also other

research areas, to broaden the horizon, and for inspiration

(biology, cosmology, ecology, economy, geology, medicine, psy-

chology). The topic of DA and scaling is the ﬁrm ground of the

chemical engineering literacy. Scale-up and design of tech-

nologies is based on scaling consideration and active use of

DA in a variety of particular situations. Therefore, several ref-

erences on scale-up are also presented (1.3. Books on scale-up):

Euzen et al., 1993, Grassmann, 1971, Johnstone and Thring,

1957, Stichlmair, 2002, Zlokarnik, 2006. The scale-up is in

certain respect easier than the scale-down. Considering the

lab scale ∼1m, the big equipments are typically ∼10

1

m in

size, i.e. variation within one order only. The microtechnol-

ogy goes down to sub-micron ranges, i.e. more than 6 orders

beyond our everyday experience. The chance that new phe-

nomena will be encountered along this way is very high.

The importance of surface phenomena, hence surface sci-

ences, is not surprising. A long list of various DN is available,

e.g. in Boucher and Alves (1959, 1963), Jerrard and McNeill

(1992), Land (1972), Johnson (1998) and Weast and Astle

(1981).

In the second part of the Reference section, the balance

equations for the transport phenomena are presented (2.

Transport phenomena). They form the very core of the chemical

engineering and are in all texts of this sector, so it is needles to

list them all. There is a selection of sources that relates to this

paper. The local standard textbook by Mika (1981) was used

for the equations and some basic scaling, and several other

books were also consulted (e.g. Aris, 1989; Bird et al., 1965;

Carslaw and Jaeger, 1947; Crank, 1956; Cussler, 1997; Deen,

1998; Rohsenov and Choi, 1961; Slattery, 1972; Slavicek, 1969;

Thomson, 2000; Welty et al., 1969).

Most space in this paper is devoted to the momentum

transport, i.e. the ﬂuiddynamics, bothsingle-phase andmulti-

phase (Section 5). This ﬁeld is close to the author, and also

underlines the remaining two transport processes of heat

and mass. There are several groups of authors writing about

ﬂuid mechanics, according to their background: pure and

applied mathematicians, physicists and engineers (chemical,

civil, environmental, mechanical, metallurgy, mining, nuclear,

urban, etc.). The ﬁrst choose simple problems and solve them

completely on the fundamental level. For the last, complex

problems are chosen, whichcanbe solved only approximately.

The engineering books are well-known to our community

(e.g. Cengel and Cimbala, 2006; Massey, 1998; Munson et

al., 1990; White, 1974; Wilkes, 1999), so only the others are

mentioned, when used. A more theoretically minded reader

may wish to consult, e.g. Doering and Gibbon (1995), Sohr

(2001), and Temam (2001). The common RTD treatment is pre-

858 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

sented in many standard books (e.g. Levenspiel, 1962). The

smart variant of RTD is presented, e.g. by Ghirelli and Leckner

(2004).

Rarely is found a title with proper and transparent

treatment of the interface boundary conditions within the

engineering literature. The corresponding very important

numbers (Bo, Ca, Eo, Ma, Mo, We) are usually presented either

without any comment on their origin (hence physical mean-

ing), or as a result of DA (again lacking the physical meaning).

The book by Sadhal et al. (1997) was used, together with that

by Edwards et al. (1991). Instructive is the paper by Cuenot et

al. (1997), which deals with a single bubble rise in a contam-

inated liquid, where Ma and other DN play important roles.

Macroscopic effects of a surfactant on real bubbly mixtures

are demonstrated too (e.g. Ruzicka et al., 2008).

In engineering, the hydrodynamic stability is usually

neither taught in courses, nor included in the books on hydro-

dynamics. We tend to assume that things are mean, steady

and stable, since we want have them like this in appli-

cations. However, this is not always the case. Few books

relate to the stability issue, which is difﬁcult but impor-

tant (e.g. Chandrasekhar, 1961; Drazin and Reid, 1981; Drazin,

2002—suitable for students). Equations of vorticity andenstro-

phy are often used in turbulence (Davidson, 2004; Frisch, 1995;

Pope, 2000), but not only there, since the vorticity is a subject

of its own importance (Saffman, 1992).

The rotational effects are presented by geophysically

minded authors (Kundu, 1990; Tritton, 1988; see also

Pedlosky, 1982). Magnetohydrodynamics is not a usual part

of our curriculum, and is mentioned only informatively

(Chandrasekhar, 1961; Moffat, 2000). On the other hand, com-

pressible and rareﬁed ﬂows are commonly encountered, and

the idea behind Mc and Kn is familiar to engineers (many

books exist on gas dynamics). Buoyancy effects in ﬂuids are

omnipresent andare coveredbyseveral texts, namelythe ther-

mal convection (Turner, 1979; Koschmieder, 1993). Analogy

between buoyancy effects in single-phase and multi-phase

systems has also been pointed out, and multi-phase Ra dis-

cussed (Ruzicka and Thomas, 2003). A suitable ‘effective’

density should be used to evaluate correctly the Archimedes

force acting on a body immersed in dispersion, depending

on a dimensionless parameter (Ruzicka, 2006). Rheology is a

vast area, with its own bibliography. The book by Barnes et

al. (1989) is a suitable introduction into the ﬁeld (De num-

ber included). There are profound texts where dimensional

aspect are treated on the fundamental level (Astarita and

Marrucci, 1974) as well as recent textbooks (Macosko, 1994;

Morrison, 2001). A set of reviews on the present state of sev-

eral important branches of ﬂuid mechanics is also included

(Batchelor et al., 2000). There is awealthof literature onmotion

of animals in ﬂuids (e.g. Childress, 1981; Pedley, 1977; Vogel,

1998, 1994). With curiosities, the water-walking miracle of the

Basiliscus lizards is also presented (Glasheen and McMahon,

1996a,b).

It is not easy to ﬁnd a general and accessible and phys-

ically sound book on multi-phase ﬂow (if any). There are

only several titles currently available in this growing area

(e.g. Brennen, 2005; Crowe et al., 1998; Ishii and Hibiki, 2006;

Kleinstreurer, 2003; Kolev, 2002; Soo, 1990), where the assis-

tance was obtained from. Other sources were also consulted

for speciﬁc areas (Friedlander, 2000; Hinds, 1999; Nguyen and

Schulze, 2004). The important issue is to formulate the stress

tensor and the interphase interaction force. This leads to

investigation of the microstructure of dispersions, easier to

perform in the dilute viscous limit. The problems come with

strong multiple interactions in dense suspensions (e.g. Brady

and Bossis, 1988; Stickel and Powel, 2005). The exciting area

of granular ﬂow and powder technology is a traditional part of

engineering (e.g. Brown and Richards, 1970; Nedderman, 1992)

with deep roots in soil mechanics (e.g. Taylor, 1948; Terzaghi,

1943). Presently, it witnesses a great boom after being ‘dis-

covered’ by physicists, as a unique and highly speciﬁc state

of matter (Duran, 2000; Hinrichsen and Wolf, 2004; Forterre

and Pouliquen, 2008). The concept of Ba number is useful in

granular ﬂows.

In the third part of the Reference section, several important

particular areas are covered in very brief (3. Other topics). The

phenomenon of ‘interface’ becomes increasingly important

nowadays, owing to the progressive scale-down, where the

(volume/area) seems to be a more relevant parameter than the

usual (area/perimeter), known as hydraulic diameter. There-

fore, few references to the surface aspects are mentioned

(3.1. Surfaces and surfactants): Adamson, 1960, Adamczyk, 2006,

Davies and Rideal, 1963, Fawcett, 2004, de Gennes et al., 2004,

Israelachvili, 1992. These are useful for multi-phase ﬂows as

well as for microﬂows, and were employed at writing about

these topics. Microtechnology surely deserves a little section

of references (3.2. Microﬂows and microsystems), which were

used for preparing Appendix C: Berthier and Silberzan, 2005,

Bruus, 2008, Ehrfeld et al., 2000, Gad-el-Hak, 1999, Hessel et

al., 2004, van Kampen, 1992, Karniadakis and Beskok, 2002,

Karniadakis et al., 2005, Kockmann, 2006, Li, 2004, Madou,

2000, Maynard, 2008, Neto et al., 2005, Nguyen and Wereley,

2002, Slattery et al., 2004, Stone et al., 2004, Tabeling, 2005,

Thompson and Troian, 1997; see also the periodical “Microﬂuid

Nanoﬂuid” and others. They are valuable sources of informa-

tion, reﬂecting the state-of-the-art in this inﬂating area. The

effect of ‘rareﬁcation’ of gases and ‘granulation’ of liquids

needs the adequate description, where gas/molecular dynam-

ics and stochastic processes are the vital ingredients. DA and

SE on microscale are considered, e.g. in Kockmann (2006,

chapter 2). Several links to biological systems are also offered

(3.3. Biology and biosystems), related to the material presented

in Appendix C: McMahon, 1973, Pilbeam and Gould, 1974,

McMahon and Bonner, 1983, Hjortso, 2005, Nopens and Biggs,

2006, Thompson, 1943, Perthame, 2006, Ramkrishna, 2000. The

scaling concept is well known for biologists, which may be

surprising for engineers. The population balance modelling is

also included into this short section, since the term ‘popula-

tion’ has strong biological connotation. Self-similar aspects

of these models are treated, e.g. by Ramkrishna (2000). In

biology, thoughts of hierarchy of scales, structures, and func-

tions are most appealing. Many penetrating perceptions of the

early times were later physically based and formalized. The

pressure from the micro-needs pushes engineers into these

dangerous waters, where long-term everyday experience and

intuition, whichare our traditional arms, may be near-useless.

Fewitems were therefore selected, for the engineer to gain the

inspiration from the philosophers, and to combine it with the

rigour of the physicists (3.4. Multiscale science and hierarchy):

Bergmann, 1944, Furusawa and Kaneko, 1998, Garnett, 1942,

Glimmand Sharp, 1997, Henle, 1942, Hoover and Hoover, 2003,

Li and Ge, 2007, Li and Kwauk, 2004, Koplik and Banavar, 1995,

Lowry, 1974, Marin, 2005, Pattee, 1973, Sewell, 2002, Simon,

1965. The last subsection (3.5. Education) is devoted to the

pedagogical aspects of DA and relates directly to Appendix

B: Andrews, 1984, Bloom, 1956, Cadogan, 1985, Calder, 1984,

Churchill, 1997, Comenius, 1657, Imrie, 1968, Krantz, 2000,

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 859

Krathwohl et al., 1964, Marzano and Kendall, 2006, Morrison

and Morrison, 1994, Sides, 2002.

10. Conclusions

A brief guided tour through the ﬁeld of scaling and dimen-

sionless numbers is presented, with respect to their use in

chemical engineering. The numbers are listed in Table 2. Two

sources of these numbers are considered, the dimensional

analysis and the scaling of governing equations with their

boundary conditions. The apparent advantage of the equation

scaling is twofold: (i) we know the relevant physical quanti-

ties and (ii) the numbers thus obtained have clear physical

meaning. This meaning must be kept in mind when using

the numbers and the scales they involve for making empirical

correlations. The mutual relations between different numbers

are highlighted. A ﬂow-chart of numbers closely related to the

basic equations for momentum, heat, and mass transport is

shown in Fig. 4.

Acknowledgements

The author will highly acknowledge the reader’s forbearance

in case of possible mistakes, errors and shortcomings that

may occur in this text (like in any other one), and will sin-

cerely appreciate comments, suggestions, and constructive

criticismthat could help himto produce something much bet-

ter in the future. The ﬁnancial support by GACR (grant nos.

104/06/1418, 104/07/1110), by GAAV (grant nos. IAAX00130702,

IAA200720801), by MSMT CR (grant no. KONTAKT ME 952) and

byAVCR-CNRS(grant no. 11-20213) is gratefullyacknowledged.

Appendix A. Concept of intermediate

asymptotics

This appendix is to offer the reader a brief exposure of the con-

cept of the intermediate asymptotics (IA). The presentation is

intermediate-precise, in the sense that it is more precise than

a popular text aimed at the common public, and, at the same

time, less precise than it should be for its physical correctness

and mathematical rigour. Only few, hopefully typical, aspects

of IA are mentioned, without claim of generality and exhaus-

tiveness. The text is based on the two books by Barenblatt

(1996, 2003), withsome demonstrative examples by the author

(see ﬁgures).

A.1. Motivation example

Vaguely speaking, the intermediate asymptotic is a

time–space dependent solution of an evolution equation

that already forgot its initial conditions, but still does not

feel the limitations imposed by the system boundary or by

extinguishing its internal dynamics. Consider a body of a

still water in a rectangular tank. Let the surface waves be

generated at the centre, by an oscillating triangular element,

see Fig. A1. Near the centre, the waves are triangular since

they bear the ﬁngerprint of the initial condition, the shape

of the generator (phase G). As they propagate outwards, they

gradually obtain the natural circular shape,

4

being undis-

4

Why the ‘circular shape’ is natural? A mathematician would

say because of the symmetry reason; a physicist would say that

there is no force to make it non-circular and, even if, the circle is

Fig. A1 – Demonstration of IA. Surface wave generated by

vibration of triangular element on surface of originally still

liquid conﬁned in rectangular container (top view). Wave

moves from generator to boundary. Shape of wave (dotted

line): triangular (phase G) →circular (phase I) →rectangular

(phase B). Circular wave is intermediate asymptotic (IA).

turbed by either boundary. This happens at the intermediate

distance between the container centre and container wall

(phase I). As the waves begin to feel the container walls, the

circles turn into rectangles, to accommodate to the shape of

the boundary (phase B). The solution describing the ‘happy

circles’ is the intermediate asymptotic (IA) of the system:

demonstration of pure physics, unaffected by geometrical

constraints, by the past and future.

The three stages (G, I, B) correspond to three different

regimes of the system behaviour, where different effects,

hence variables, come to play. DA is able to cope with a sin-

gle regime only. The easiest is the intermediate regime (IA)

where besides the physics, which is in all of them, no addi-

tional variables are present to account for the geometry of

wave generator and the container boundary. DA may be able

to describe certain rough aspects of the intermediate stage,

by providing scale estimates of some main features of the cir-

cular waves. Whether DA can really do so, depends on the

physical nature of the problem and on the type of the physi-

cal quantities involved. There can be a solution in form of IA,

which cannot be obtained by DA. In this sense, the concept of

IA transcends the concept of DA, as pointed out in Section 3.2

of the main text. DA applies to problems having the complete

similarity.

A.2. Two kinds of similarity

A.2.1. Complete similarity (CS)

The relation between the master quantity and the variables,

u=f(a

1,. . .,k

, b

1,. . .,m

) can be converted using DA into the dimen-

a stable conﬁguration; a chemical engineer would argue that one

has seen only circles, so far. They are all basically right.

860 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

sionless form:

˘ = ˚(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . . ˘

m

). (A.1)

where we want to reduce the number of variables by neglect-

ing some Pi-terms. Usually, too small and too large terms

are omitted, without further justiﬁcations. Correctly, the

behaviour of ˚inthe limit of ˘

i

→0 or ∞must be investigated.

The neglection is permitted only when ˚ tends fast enough

a ﬁnite non-zero limit. Then it is possible to replace ˚ with

another function of less variables representing the limit of ˚:

˘ = ˚

1

(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . ˘

n-m

) (complete similarity). (A.2)

Since ˚ is usually not known beforehand, at least an a pos-

teriori check is in order. The case where we can go from (A.1)

to (A.2) is called the complete similarity (CS), or the similarity

of the ﬁrst kind of the phenomenon in the neglected variables

(h+1, h+2, . . ., m). In reality, this is a rare situation and a worse

case is encountered.

A.2.2. Incomplete similarity (IS)

If ˚ behaves badly, the condition for CS is not satisﬁed and

the Pi-terms cannot be neglected. They inﬂuence the problem

regardless how small or big they are. But even here a sim-

pliﬁcation can exist. If our problem possesses certain special

features, it may be possible to take some Pi-terms out of ˚, as

the power-law factors. In this case, (A.2) becomes

˘ = (˘

˛.n÷1

n÷1

· · ·˘

˛.m

m

)˚

2

˘

1

˘

ˇ.1

n÷1

· · ·˘

ı.1

m

. . . . .

˘

n

˘

ˇ.n

n÷1

· · ·˘

ı.n

m

. (A.3)

which can brieﬂy be written as

˘

∗

= ˚

2

(˘

∗

1

. ˘

∗

2

. . . . . ˘

∗

n-m

) (incomplete similarity). (A.4)

The number of arguments of ˚ is reduced at the price of

the power-law factors and several unknown exponents (˛

n

,

ˇ

n

, . . ., ı

n

). Such a case is called the incomplete similarity

(IS), or the similarity of the second kind of the phenomenon

in the extracted variables (h+1, h+2, . . ., m). Although (A.2)

and (A.4) are formally similar, there is a substantial differ-

ence. The former witnesses the generalized homogeneity of

the dimensional function f, which is a consequence of the

general physical covariance principle (the platform on which

DAoperates). The latter witnesses the generalized homogene-

ity of the nondimensional function ˚ itself, which is a lucky

coincidence, the consequence of the presence of some special

properties of the problem under study. Neither the extracted

variables nor the exponents in (A.3) can be obtained by DA,

in principle. They must be found by some other means, e.g.

by numerical solution of the full model, by experiments. The

following two special cases of (A.3) can be met:

˘ = ˘

˛

m

˚

2

˘

1

˘

ˇ

m

. ˘

2

. . . . . ˘

m−1

.

˘ = ˘

˛

m

˚

2

(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . . ˘

m−1

).

(A.5)

where only one small or large Pi-termspoils the complete sim-

ilarity, namely the term ˘

m

, which stems from the variable

b

m

. Note that IS is a much weaker quality than CS, yet more

widespread. On the other hand, even IS is still a rather excep-

tional property. It seems to be difﬁcult being more quantitative

about the distribution of special properties within the natu-

ral phenomena we observe, and in models we use to describe

them. A rule of thumb says: The ‘better’ the property, the

rarer it occurs. Consequently, we may expect that the typical

case will be the lack of similarity where no further simpliﬁ-

cation of (A.1) is possible. It should be attacked directly, via

experiments, numerical calculations, or approximate analyt-

ical techniques.

A.3. Two kinds of self-similarity

In many cases, (A.2) represents the ﬁnal result produced by

DA, which can be re-written as

u = U · ˚(˘

1

. ˘

2

. . . . ˘

m

) (output of DA). (A.6)

In most of our applications, DA ﬁnishes here and delivers

the scaling law u∼U. The tuning function ˚ is then obtained

by measurements. These applications typically describe

steady states of complex processes, in complex geometries,

time–space averaged problems with lumped parameters. Less

often are studied evolution problems in space and time, prob-

lems with distributed parameters. Certain class of problems,

in a certain intermediate range, admit self-similar (similarity)

solutions, in terms of self-similar variables. These variables

for problems with complete similarity can be found by DA.

Consider a problem described by a complicated governing

equation for function u=u(x, t). The scaling law (A.2), (A.6)

obtained by DA can be written as

u

U

= F

x

X

. ˘

i

**(self-similar ansatz for CS). (A.7)
**

where X(t) and U(t) are the self-similar variables. They are

the scale estimates for the spatial coordinate x and the mas-

ter quantity u(x, t) that ensure the geometrical similarity of

the spatial proﬁle of u. Putting (A.7) into the original govern-

ing equation, we get a simpliﬁed equation that solves for the

functionF(¸), where ¸ is the single compoundvariable, x/X, pro-

vided that the ˘

i

-terms do not interfere. The solutionu/U=F(¸,

˘

i

) is the exact solution to the simpliﬁed equation, and is

called the self-similar solution of the ﬁrst kind. Because the sim-

ilarity solution holds only in the intermediate range where

the problem lack internal length scales, it represents IA of the

original problem.

When our problem has not the complete similarity, but

only the incomplete similarity, the similarity variables must

be produced by means other than DA. Namely this holds for

the scaling of the master quantity (A.3). In the simple case of

(A.5), we have

u

U

= ϕ

˛

F

x

X

. ˘

i

**(self-similar ansatz for IS). (A.8)
**

where the dimensionless parameter ϕ typically contains infor-

mation about the initial stage of the process. Putting (A.8) into

the original governing equation, we get a simpliﬁed equation

whose solution is called the self-similar solution of the second

kind. The solution typically leads to the nonlinear eigenvalue

problem (NEP) for the function F:

N(F) −zF = 0 (nonlinear eigenvalue problem). (A.9)

where N is a nonlinear operator. The eigenvalue z depends

on the exponents of IS (˛

n

, ˇ

n

, . . .). Often, nonlinear differen-

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 861

Fig. A2 – Guidance for application of DA and similarity

analysis. Right branch deals with ‘idealized’ problem, where

problematic variables are neglected. Dimensionless

formulation follows from DA. By complete similarity (CS),

variables are fewer and similarity law is obtained. With

governing equations (GE), self-similar solution (ﬁrst kind)

can be found. Left branch deals with ‘realistic’ problem.

Incomplete similarity (IS) is encountered and self-similar

solution (second kind) is obtained by nonlinear eigenvalue

problem (NEP) (based on Barenblatt, 1987, 1996, 2003).

tial equations must be solved, with more boundary conditions

than is due (overdetermination). Such a special value of z

is seeked, for which the solution does exist. The qualitative

methods for nonlinear systems can be used, and the phase

portrait of the problem can be analysed. Due to the overdeter-

mination, the solution can correspond a singular objects (e.g.

separatrix line). The ﬂow-chart summary is given in Fig. A2.

A.4. Relation between DA and IA

DA is a simple effective method for ﬁnding the rough scale

estimate of a master quantity, u∼U, in problems having the

complete similarity. This estimate can be used for construct-

ing the self-similar variables. IA is a general concept, a kind of

universal behaviour that many systems of different origin can

produce. It is a spatio-temporal phenomenon, existing within

a certain intermediate range of the independent variables. It

is an approximate solution to a complex problem, valid in a

certain range. It can be represented by the self-similar solu-

tion, which is the exact solution to a simpliﬁed problem, valid

in the whole range, see Fig. A3. The action radius of the above-

discussed concepts is shown in the diagram in Fig. A4.

Fig. A3 – Relation between self-similar solution and IA.

Real process with three stages: initial generation (G),

intermediate stage (I), ﬁnal stage affected by boundary (B).

Self-similar solution for simpliﬁed problem is in whole

range and exact; for real problem it is approximation in

intermediate range.

A.5. Beyond IA?

There may exist even a weaker type of similarity than IS, in

the solutions to the general evolution problems on interme-

diate ranges of time and space (or even more sophisticated

variables) that will be sufﬁcient to earn the status of IA, at

least in the intuitive sense, see the grey zone in Fig. A4. If the

opposite is true, the grey zone shrinks to zero. Paradoxically,

the opposite may be true owing to the terminology reasons. If

the notion of IA is anchored in the fact that the weakest simi-

larity that IA can bear is IS, there is no room for anything else.

Such a deﬁnition ﬁnds its support in the fact that the concept

of similarity is equivalent to the invariance of the governing

equations with respect to certain groups of transformations

(symmetry). Since the nondimensionalization and scaling

means changing the norm of the measuring units (etalons),

the important role of the renormalization group is a little sur-

prise. With such a deﬁnition, IA and the group that reﬂects

the actual degree of symmetry in the problem are equivalent.

Consequently, the insolubility of the IS problem in terms of

the self-similar solution of the second kind is equivalent to

the indeterminacy of the group, and can be interpreted as the

Fig. A4 – Nesting of similarity concepts. DA: dimensional

analysis; CS: complete similarity; IS: incomplete similarity;

IA: intermediate asymptotic; AI: absence of

intermediateness. Phenomena fall into two classes: AI and

IA. Within IA, further division is possible.

862 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

Fig. A5 – Life cycle of population. Genesis at early times (G),

internal dynamics in intermediate range (I), decay due to

bounds set on its existence (B). In middle range, IA

behaviour is expected. Vertical axis: characteristic

parameter describing state of system (large ensemble of

interacting units; evolution of biological species,

population, culture, civilization, empire).

absence of IA, in the given problem. The insolubility can be

caused by unavailability of certain integral quantities, either

explicit or implicit, reﬂecting the conservation principles.

Their absence can be for several reasons: they do not exist,

they do exist but we do know them, we do not know whether

they do exist. In mechanics, which is an axiomatic discipline,

5

we can prove or disprove their existence, which leads to the

consistent statement about the existence of IA. In other sci-

ences, where we lack this strong axiomatic footing, we face the

undecidability. This links back to the need of an operational

deﬁnition of IA, suitable also for other and less formalized

research areas, where the ‘governing equations’ are either

fully absent, or reﬂect only a small fragment of truth. Exer-

cising them would be tempting for applied mathematicians,

but the results obtained would likely be largely misleading.

A.6. Broader horizons

Inhis books, Barenblatt mentions that althoughthe concept of

IA is a part of the mathematical physics, it has important sig-

niﬁcance for variety of general situations that are multiscale

in nature. As an example, he presents few situations from our

everyday life, to demonstrate this conceptual generality (e.g.

perception of visual art, visual perception generally, analogy

in poetry, intermediate description of historical events, etc.).

To contribute to these efforts, the following three exam-

ples are introduced, that hopefully comply with the concept

of IA, at least on the intuitive level. The ﬁrst shows the nat-

ural cycle of a culture or civilization, see Fig. A5. It takes off

fromzero, builds up, reaches astatus quo(‘sustainability’), and

eventually degenerates. The intermediate stage canbe consid-

ered as IA, because here the mechanisms driving its internal

dynamics are revealed. The culture has already reached cer-

5

From the fundamental point of view, the mechanics is science

about something that does not exist. There are no elementary

particles (‘mechanons’) that would mediate the mechanical

interactions. Mechanics merely is a demonstration of the

electromagnetic and gravitational forces on the macroscale. On

the same argument, the physicists would state that Romeo and

Juliet were not in love: there are no elementary particles

(‘loveons’) mediating this type of interaction.

Fig. A6 – Life cycle of individual. IA—unaffected by

beginning and end (the picture is reproduced with kind

permission by ‘The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’).

tain degree of independence and autonomy, while it is still far

from its inevitable end (e.g. internal decay; the Roman Empire

in the past, the West in the near future).

What happens with big populations (phylogeny) can repeat

on the level of a one single individual (ontogeny). This is

demonstrated by the second example. In Fig. A6, we see the

youth, maturity and age. The child bears the ﬁngerprint of its

birth and the care delivered by the surrounding, to facilitate

its early existence (phase G). The adult is believed to be able

to behave at least to a certain degree independently of the

experience from the early period, according to one’s free will,

if any (phase I). Getting older, the feeling of the presence of

the severe upper bound on the length of the current life cycle

comes to play, and affects our behaviour strongly (phase B).

Totopthis appendixonthe philosophical level, let us follow

the third example. By convention, the common people distin-

guish three parts of the time axis: past, present, and future,

see Fig. A7. The present is represented by one singular point

only, separating the vast past from the equally vast future.

Note that both the past and future do not exist: ‘past’ already

was, ‘future’ will only be. The practical relevance of this pic-

ture is that we keep living in a virtual world, generated of

our memories, and bounded by our future expectations and

plans. The mental training suggested by many a philosophi-

cal schools is aimed at expanding the present, since it is the

only reality we can actually perceive, and the way how to lib-

erate ourselves from the diktat of the past and the future. The

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 863

Fig. A7 – Mental training: development of extended

perception of present, in form of IA. Singularity of present

is unfolded, by suppressing the virtual past and future.

extended present is thus our IA, which, in its ultimate form,

can be experienced as the timelessness.

Appendix B. Suggestions for using and

teaching DA

This appendix concerns the problem how to use DA and sim-

ilarity analysis, which may also be useful for educational

purposes. The basic facts about usage of DA are widely avail-

able in the open literature (see the Reference section). The

practical recipe belowfor the applicationof the similarityanal-

ysis is taken from Barenblatt (1987, 1996, 2003). A selection of

the educational literature is in References section 3.5.

DA—What it is, how it works?

It is a very standard issue, with enormous coverage by

books, handbooks, monographs, etc.

See Sections 2 and 3 of this paper.

DA—For which purpose?

We canuse DAfor several reasons, differing inthe expected

outputs:

• scaling law for a master quantity;

• similarity law for modelling and scale up/down;

• similarity variables needed for seeking similarity solution

of governing equations;

• grouping parameters into DN to reduce experimental data

and to make correlations.

Note: Obtaining the scaling law for a quantity may, but also

may not be our ultimate goal. With these scale estimates we

can build valuable models.

DA versus scaling of equations (SE):

• DA

◦ does not give any variables (they must be chosen subjec-

tively, relevance not assured);

◦ does give dimensionless numbers (all combinations, rel-

evance not assured);

◦ does give relation between the numbers (scale-estimate

of master quantity).

• SE

◦ does give relevant variables (from equations, initial and

boundary conditions);

◦ does give some relevant numbers (maybe not all, equa-

tions are only a ‘model’ of reality);

◦ does not give relation between the numbers.

Recommendation. First obtain relevant numbers by SE, then

apply DA to ﬁnd similarity laws.

DA—Recipe for similarity analysis (after Barenblatt; slightly

adapted, see Fig A2):

1. Specify relevant variables (using model equations; choose

yourself).

2. Choose system of units, choose variables with indepen-

dent dimension (those most relevant).

3. Apply DA to get similarity law, ˘ =˚(˘

1

, ˘

2

, . . ., ˘

m

).

4. Choose suitable scales for your problem, estimate magni-

tude of Pi-terms (small/large?).

5. Assume complete similarity andcancel small/large terms.

Check result versus data. Problems?

6. Assume incomplete similarity and cancel small/large

terms. Check result versus data.

7. Formulate similarity and scaling laws with fewest vari-

ables [ﬁnal output I].

8. Formulate similarity variables, use model equations, ﬁnd

similarity solution [ﬁnal output II].

9. Relate similarity solution to IAbehaviour of your problem,

delimitate intermediate region.

10. Does your result comply with data? Can it be generalized?

11. Improve this recipe, based on your own experience.

DA—Glossary

For the reader’s convenience, a brief glossary of frequent

terms is also included. The expressions are listed, as they

appear in the text (place of deﬁnition):

• similarity parameter (3.1.5) (also: Pi-term, ˘-term, dimen-

sionless number);

• similarity law for ˘ (3.1.5);

• similarity law for a (3.1.6);

• scale estimate for a (3.1.7) (also: basic scaling for a, scaling

law for a);

• similarity theory (Section 3.2) (also: similitude theory, mod-

elling, scale-up/down);

• similar systems (Section 3.2);

• similarity law for modelling (3.2.3);

• similarity criterion for modelling (3.2.3);

• scaling law: power-law dependence, y =ax

b

;

• scaling rule for modelling (3.2.3);

• scale coefﬁcient for modelling (3.2.3);

• scale (4.3) (also: characteristic/typical/representative quan-

tity, parameter, value);

• scale equation (4.3);

• complete similarity (A.2);

• incomplete similarity (A.4);

• self-similar: variable, coordinate, solution (A.7) and (A.8)

(also: similarity variable/coordinate/solution).

Teaching aspects in general are covered by wealth of ped-

agogical literature devoted to education at the tertiary level

(university), spanning several centuries. Starting with the

paradigmatic treatment by the father of modern education

Comenius (1657), we can arrive at the numerous volumes of

the present literature. To name one, Bloom (1956; see also

Krathwohl et al., 1964, Marzano and Kendall, 2006) is espe-

cially useful at preparing the knowledge tests for students.

The taxonomy indicates how difﬁcult our questions are, and

which students skills are required for generating the answers.

Students should not only be taught “Know how”, but also

“Know why”.

Teaching aspects in particular are broadly covered by the

quarterly published periodical “Chemical Engineering Educa-

864 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

tion”. There are articles directly relatedto teaching DA. Written

by professional teachers and active researches at the same

time, they are of great didactical value (see e.g. Andrews, 1984;

Churchill, 1997; Krantz, 2000; Sides, 2002; also Imrie, 1968). To

attract the students attention to problems of scales, few pop-

ular books are available too (e.g. Cadogan, 1985; Calder, 1984;

Morrison and Morrison, 1994).

Postscript. Students are forced to produce a number of

papers to defend their PhD thesis (“Publish or perish”). To

reduce the increasing information noise in the peer-reviewed

literature, remember also the complementary saying: “Better

to perish than publish rubbish”.

Appendix C. New areas in chemical

engineering

Far be it from the author to tend to have any kind of visionary

ambitions. Instead, some comments are presented, related to

the current topics suggested as being topical.

C.1. Microreactors and microﬂuidics

C.1.1. Microsystems in chemical technology

Flows and transport phenomena in microscopic and

nanoscale channels are under intense research. The typ-

ical features are: low Re regimes, strong surface effects, break

down of continuum concept, multiscale nature, presence of

many kinds of forces. There are some aspects already known,

that make the micro-world different from ours. Others are

only awaiting their discovery. We still have the well-deﬁned

physical quantities and the power of the conservation

equations, so that both DA and SE can be applied.

In chemical technology, the microreactors enable better

control of system behaviour. The ﬂow is usually laminar (low

Re owing to small L and V), with all the advantages of the

Stokes equation (linearity hence superposition, reversibility,

strong theorems—minimum dissipation, reciprocity). Such

ﬂows may not be prone to hydrodynamic instabilities. On the

other hand, we lack the advantage of the effective large-scale

convective mixing (strong bulk turbulence), and the ﬂow

basically is in the boundary layer regime. This increases the

resistance to the transport processes. They must be enhanced

by clever design of the system geometry and ﬂow. Thanks to

the fast heat transfer in systems with large (surface/volume)

ratios ∼L

2

/L

3

∼1/L, we can manage the exo/endo-thermic

reactions. The mass diffusion can be complemented by

micro-convection in several ways (micromixing). Controlling

the transport and reaction, we can improve the selectivity

and increase conversion. This higher efﬁciency together

with safe smaller units close to user might compete with

the huge volumes produced by present plants on one spot.

As ever, common sense should be used to prevent us from

miniaturizing everything.

C.1.2. Prevailing forces

There are different kinds of forces, with different ranges of

action. The shortest are the interaction forces between two

small molecules in vacuum. The force range usually increases

with the molecule size, polarity, number of molecules, and is

larger in material environment, where strong cumulative and

collective effects can play a role. Starting from few nanome-

tres (nm), these molecular forces in large ensembles can reach

to ∼100nm, say. When the system size is larger than this ﬁg-

ure (microchannels), the molecular forces can be considered

as localized, i.e. concentrated in a plane of zero thickness. We

have the usual ‘macroscopic’ description, with the common

surface effects. Whenthe systemsize is comparable or smaller

than this ﬁgure (nanochannels), the molecular forces cannot

be considered as localized; they are distributed in space and

time. We have to abandonthe usual ‘macroscopic’ description,

and develop something smarter. An analogy emerges here.

In macro-hydrodynamics the boundary effects can be local-

ized into a thin boundary layer negligible with respect to the

bulk volume, while in micro-hydrodynamics the whole bulk

is the boundary layer. In micro-hydrodynamics the molecu-

lar forces can be localized into a thin surface layer, while in

nano-hydrodynamics, these forces penetrate the whole bulk.

Note that the commonshear viscosity jincreases enormously

on nanoscale, when the sheared ﬂuid layer is only several

nm thick. The common surface tension o decreases, when

the drop size shrinks to nanometric scales. Both j and o are

macroscopic quantities that can loose their usual meaning

when transferred from large local-equilibrium ensembles on

to sparse families of particles, out of statistical balance.

It is useful to knowhowdifferent forces and physical quan-

tities scale withthe lengthL (systemsize). Expectedly, the body

or volume forces fall quickly with decreasing L (gravity, iner-

tia, centrifugal, etc.). In contrast, the molecular and surface

forces become important. Consequently, the force equilibria in

microsystems are createdbyabalance of forces others thanwe

are used to. In small systems, intense electrical ﬁelds can be

produces, andimportant electro-phenomenaoccur (electroos-

mosis, electrophoresis, streaming potential, sedimentation

potential, dielectrophoresis). The Debye length becomes the

relevant length scale. The force balance may result frominter-

play between the viscous, pressure, and electrostatic forces.

The electrostatic-Ra may thenappear. Newkinds of ﬂowinsta-

bility can also be produced.

C.1.3. Governing equations and boundary conditions

The continuum approach is based on the notion of the ‘ﬂuid

particle’, a virtual mesoscale object having the proper number

of molecules, not too small, not too large. This alibistic deﬁ-

nition may well work for students, but largely fails when we

have to know how this ‘particle’ compares with the size of our

microchannel. Since this basic concept is presented in the ﬁrst

lecture on hydrodynamics, all of us surely know how big it is.

When it is smaller than the system, the continuum approach

can be applied, and vice versa. Since gases are thinner than

liquids, their ‘particles’ must be larger. Consequently, gases

are more prone to discontinuous behaviour in microsystems.

Note that all ﬂuid properties must be continuous.

6

There may

be different length scales for kinematics (speed, acceleration),

thermodynamics (pressure, density), transport (diffusion), etc.

Also, even when the ﬂuid is continuous, the ﬂow may be not

(shocks, extreme shearing, etc.).

There are some recommendations for microﬂows in terms

of the Knudsen number. One effect is rareﬁcation, which likely

occurs when Kn is larger than ∼10

−3

to 10

−2

. This holds for

gases, where the free path is a well-deﬁned concept. In liq-

uids, it is not so, and the molecular interaction distance can

be taken instead of the free path. This distance could be taken

10 smaller than the path, based on the density argument,

(distance/path) ∼(,

gas

/,

liquid

)

1/3

. Another effect is the molecu-

lar slips of ﬂuid at rigid wall, where the no-slip BC condition

6

See e.g. Nguyen and Wereley (2002), Section 2.1.3.

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 865

loses validity. The continuum approach and no-slip BC can

apply for Kn<10

−2

, say. The continuumapproach and free-slip

BC is recommended for Kn∼10

−2

to 10

−1

. The Navier–Stokes

fails for Kn∼10

0

and other models should be used (e.g. Bur-

nett and Woods equations). Statistical approach (Boltzmann

equation) or molecular dynamics of free discrete particles

should be employed for Kn>10

1

. The Knudsen number can

serve as the expansion parameter in building approximate

models. Different effects can be important for gases (rareﬁca-

tion, compressibility, viscous heating, thermal creep, Knudsen

pump, diffuse/specular reﬂection at wall) and liquids (wet-

ting, adsorption, eletrokinetics, hydrophobicity). Other effects

canbe common(entrance effects, ﬂuid–structure interactions,

relaxation times upon disturbing, surface roughness).

The diversity and novelty of micro-phenomena need

new forces to be included, modiﬁed equations and adequate

boundary conditions. After scaling, they will produce new

or different DN, than we would expect. For instance, the slip

boundary condition on rigid wall for compressible ﬂows leads

to Ec, Kn, Pr, Re (cf. with numbers in Sections 5.4.1 and 5.4.2).

Other numbers may be encountered too (e.q. Squeeze num-

ber, Bearing number, etc.). Some DN important on macroscale

may loose their relevance. The common DA is expected to

work also for microsystems, one difﬁculty being our much

less experience with the world of small, where things often

go straight against our intuition. It is exactly the experience

and intuition that facilitate the crucial step in DA, the choice

of relevant variables.

Literature used and recommended: References sections 3.1

and 3.2.

C.2. Biosystems

Biology witnesses long-term tradition in using various scal-

ing laws. Observations suggest that animals are small and

big, slow and fast, eating little and much, etc. Efforts were

spent to relate these properties and to ﬁnd some rules.

Resulting empirical correlations shows power-law depen-

dence between various quantities (body size, body weight,

proportions, metabolic rate, heat production, characteristic

biological times, etc.). Metabolic heat is produced in the

body bulk ∼L

3

and is released by body surface ∼L

2

. The

(loss/production) ratio is 1/L, indicating that big animals may

have problem with overheating, while small with under-

heating (beyond the limit of thermal regulation, they are

cold-blooded). The weight goes like ∼L

3

and the force gener-

ated by the stress in muscles ∼L

2

. The (force/weight) ratio is

1/L, indicating that small animals may be relatively stronger

than the big ones. The human weight is also expressed by a

power-law, as the surface density M/L

2

[kg/m

2

], with the opti-

mum value currently set to 21 (BMI =body mass index). These

are results based on observations or on elementary scaling

considerations.

Biotechnology, like chemical technology, applies the bal-

ance equations, which can be scaled. With well-deﬁned

physical quantities, DA can operate. Some speciﬁc situations

do exist at biosystems. There are crucial qualities that are

difﬁcult to deﬁne and quantify, whence to subject to DA.

For instance, the ‘physiological state’ of living matter is of

paramount importance. Further, there are metabolic patterns,

pathways of such a complexity that a mere set of mass equa-

tions fromSection 7 for their description is ineffective. Rather,

the graph theory is used to capture their topology and for-

malize the problems at least qualitatively, in terms of the

corresponding matrixes. The populationbalance models (used

not only for living units, but also for lifeless particles, like bub-

bles, drops) are statistical tools, providing us with equations

for probability distribution of certain property within the pop-

ulation (age, size, weight, wealth, health, etc.). It may not be a

priori clear what good comes from their possible scaling and

howtouse the DNthus obtained. Similarlyinother areas (ecol-

ogy, economy, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, sociology,

etc.), the following points should be made clear. Do we have

well-deﬁned physical quantities? Are they directly related via

certain physical processes? Or even better: Do we have gov-

erning equations? If so, we can try our best at applying DA,

and possibly also SE.

Literature used and recommended: References section 3.3.

C.3. Multiscale methodology

Multiscale approach is fashionable currently, but the basic

idea is very old. In your system, choose proper characteris-

tic scales for relevant quantities (time, length, force, speed,

etc.), estimate the magnitude of individual terms inyour equa-

tions, neglect some terms with respect to others, under given

conditions. Change the conditions systematically, to select

individual simple processes and study them thoroughly. This

is what physicists have been doing for centuries. The time and

length scales (T and L) can be obtained by spectral analysis, of

either the physical signals (measured or computed by CFD)

or the governing equations (modal dynamics). The physical

quantity u(x, t) is a function, an element of an abstract func-

tionspace. It canbe representedusing the basis functions. One

common basis are the harmonic functions (Fourier). Another

basis are wavelets (Haar), which basically are wave packets.

The force scale relates to L and T, depending how short/long

range it is, and how fast it responds/decays. When the scales

are separated by a large gap, the corresponding processes are

likely only weakly coupled, and can possibly be studied sepa-

rately. When the scales are not separated, the corresponding

processes are likely strongly coupled and it may be difﬁcult or

even impossible to decompose them, without corrupting the

model (scales inturbulence are typically strongly intertwined).

Almost all things around us are multiscale systems, at least

for the simple reasonthat theyare made of atoms ∼10

−9

mand

we are bodies ∼10

0

mliving inspace of ∼10

xx

m. Fromthe hier-

archy of scales follows the hierarchy of functions, as known

fromcomplexsystems. Hierarchical systems display one spec-

tacular feature: existence of ‘emergent properties’. The whole

is more than the sum of its parts (in symbols: 1+1,=2). The

additional qualities that do not exist on the level of the indi-

vidual components are the collective modes of behaviour of

the whole system that emerges through the interactions of its

components. They cannot be predicted fromthe knowledge of

the single components itself (if in principle, is a philosophical

question). The quality of ‘houseness’ is not present in each

single brick the house is composed of. One practical conse-

quence for microtechnologists: a huge production block built

up from many small active elements of various types will

always have potential for producing unpredictable emergent

behaviour. Once you create your LEGO-plant from your micro-

bricks, it will start its own life. It will be ready to surprise the

creator,

7

any time.

Literature used and recommended: References section 3.4.

7

There might even be a precedent for this in human history.

866 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

References

8

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Clement-O’Brien, K. and Lawler, G.M., 1998, Applying medication

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Curren, A.M., 2005, Dimensional analysis for meds, CENGAGE

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De Jong, F.J., (1967). Dimensional Analysis for Economists.

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Gukhman, A.A., (1965). Introduction to the Theory of Similarity.

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Hornung, H.G., (2006). Dimensional Analysis: Examples of the Use of

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Huntley, H.E., (1952). Dimensional Analysis. (Macdonald, London).

Ipsen, D.C., (1960). Units, Dimensions, and Dimensionless Numbers.

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Isaacson, E. and Isaacson, M., (1975). Dimensional Methods in

Engineering and Physics. (Edward Arnold, London).

Jerrard, H.G. and McNeill, D.B., (1992). Dictionary of Scientiﬁc Units

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Loebel, A., (1986). Chemical Problem-Solving by Dimensional Analysis.

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Palacios, J., (1964). Dimensional Analysis. (Macmillan, London).

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Perry, R.H. and Chilton, C.H., (1973). Chemical Engineers’ Handbook.

(McGraw-Hill Book Company, NY), pp. 81–85 [Chapter 2]

8

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of the listed books exist in several editions, to reference is given

to the ﬁrst edition or the edition currently available to the author.

Porter, A.W., (1946). The Method of Dimensions. (Methuen, London).

Schuring, D.J., (1977). Scale Models in Engineering: Fundamentals and

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Sedov, L.I., (1959). Similarity and Dimensional Methods in Mechanics.

(Academic Press, NY).

Skoglund, V.J., (1967). Similitude Theory and Applications.

(International Textbook Company, Scranton).

Stubbings, G.W., (1948). Dimensions in Engineering Theory. (Crosby

Lockwood, London).

Szirtes, T., (1998). Applied Dimensional Analysis and Modeling.

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Taylor, E.S., (1974). Dimensional Analysis for Engineers. (Clarendon

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Weast, R.C. and Astle, M.J. (Eds.). 1981, CRC Handbook of Chemistry

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Florida)

Zierep, J., (1971). Similarity Laws and Modeling. (Marcel Dekker, NY).

Zlokarnik, M., (1991). Dimensional Analysis and Scale-Up in Chemical

Engineering. (Springer, Berlin).

1.2. Articles on dimensional analysis

Astarita, G., 1997, Dimensional analysis, scaling, and orders of

magnitude. Chem Eng Sci, 52: 4681–4698.

Boucher, D.F. and Alves, G.E., 1959, Dimensionless numbers.

Chem Eng Prog, 55(9): 55–64.

Boucher, D.F. and Alves, G.E., 1963, Dimensionless numbers-2.

Chem Eng Prog, 59(8): 75–83.

Buckingham, E., 1914, On physically similar systems; illustrations

of the use of dimensional equations. Phys Rev, 4: 345–376.

Buckingham, E., 1915, Model experiments and the forms of

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Cheng, Y.T. and Cheng, C.M., 2004, Scaling, dimensional analysis,

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91–149.

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Chem Eng Sci, 4, 130–140, 167–177

Lykoudis, P.S., 1990, Non-dimensional numbers as ratios of

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Macagno, E.O., 1971, Historico-critical review of dimensional

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Sandler, H., 1970, Dimensional analysis of the heart—A review.

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Vogel, S., 1998, Exposing life’s limits with dimensionless

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Wesson, P.S., 1980, The application of dimensional analysis to

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West, G.B., 1984, Scale and dimension. Los Alamos Sci,

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1.3. Books on scale-up

Euzen, J.P., et al., (1993). Scale-Up Methodology for Chemical

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Grassmann, P., (1971). Physical Principles of Chemical Engineering.

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Johnstone, E.R. and Thring, M.W., (1957). Pilot Plants, Models, and

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Stichlmair, J.G., (2002). Scale-up Engineering. (Begell House Inc, NY).

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Astarita, G. and Marrucci, G., (1974). Principles of Non-Newtonian

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Aris, R., (1989). Vectors, tensors, and the basic equations of ﬂuid

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Barnes, H.A., Hutton, J.F. and Walters, K., (1989). An Introduction to

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Batchelor, G.K., Moffatt, H.K., & Worster, M.G. (eds) 2000,

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Brady, J.F. and Bossis, G., 1988, Stokesian dynamics. Ann Rev Fluid

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Brennen, C.E., (2005). Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow. (Cambridge

University Press).

Brown, R.L. and Richards, J.C., (1970). Principles of Powder

Mechanics. (Pergamon Press, Oxford).

Carslaw, H.S. and Jaeger, J.C., (1947). Conduction of Heat in Solids.

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Cengel, Y.A. and Cimbala, J.M., (2006). Fluid Mechanics.

(McGraw-Hill, NY).

Chandrasekhar, S., (1961). Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic

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Crank, J., (1956). Mathematics of Diffusion. (Clarendon Press,

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Crowe, C., Sommerfeld, M. and Tsuji, Y., (1998). Multiphase Flows

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Childress, S., (1981). Mechanics of Swimming and Flying. (Cambridge

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Cuenot, B., Magnaudet, J. and Spennato, B., 1997, The effects of

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Deen, W.M., (1998). Analysis of Transport Phenomena. (Oxford

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Davidson, P.A., (2004). Turbulence. An Introduction for Scientists and

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Forterre, Y. and Pouliquen, O., 2008, Flows of dense granular

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Morrison, F.A., (2001). Understanding Rheology. (Oxford University

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Munson, B.R., Young, D.F. and Okiishi, T.H., (1990). Fundamentals of

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868 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

3. Other topics

3.1. Surfaces and surfactants

Adamson, A.W., (1960). Physical Chemistry of Surfaces.

(Interscience, NY).

Adamczyk, Z., (2006). Particles at Interfaces: Interactions, Deposition,

Structure. (Elsevier).

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de Gennes, P.G., Brochard-Wyart, F. and Quere, D., (2004).

Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena. (Springer).

Israelachvili, J.N., (1992). Intermolecular and Surface Forces.

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3.2. Microﬂows and microsystems

Berthier, J. and Silberzan, P., (2005). Microﬂuidics for Biotechnology.

(Artech House).

Bruus, H., (2008). Theoretical Microﬂuidics. (Oxford University Press).

Ehrfeld, W., Hessel, V. and Lowe, H., (2000). Microreactors.

(Wiley-VCH, Weinheim).

Gad-el-Hak, M., 1999, The ﬂuid mechanics of microdevices. J

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Hessel, V., Hardt, S. and Lowe, H., (2004). Chemical Micro Process

Engineering. (Wiley, Weinheim).

van Kampen, N.G., (1992). Stochastic Processes in Physics and

Chemistry. (North-Holland, Amsterdam).

Karniadakis, G.M. and Beskok, A., (2002). Micro Flows. (Springer,

NY).

Karniadakis, G., Beskok, A. and Aluru, N., (2005). Microﬂows and

Nanoﬂows: Fundamentals and Simulation. (Springer).

Kockmann, N. (ed) 2006, Micro Process Engineering.

Li, D., (2004). Electrokinetics in Microﬂuidics. (Elsevier, London).

Madou, M., (2000). Fundamentals of Microfabrication. (CRC Press).

Maynard, R., 2008, Ethics of nanotechnology or nanoethics?

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Stone, H.A., Stroock, A.D. and Ajdari, A., 2004, Engineering ﬂows

in small devices. Ann Rev Fluid Mech, 36: 381–411.

Tabeling, P., (2005). Introduction to Microﬂuidics. (Oxford University

Press).

Thompson, P.A. and Troian, S.M., 1997, A general boundary

condition for liquid ﬂow at solid surfaces. Nature, 389:

360–362.

3.3. Biology and biosystems

McMahon, T., 1973, Size and shape in biology. Science, 179:

1201–1204.

Pilbeam, D. and Gould, S.J., 1974, Size and scaling in human

evolution. Science, 186: 892–901.

McMahon, T.A. and Bonner, J.T., (1983). On Size and Life. (Scientiﬁc

American Library, NY).

Hjortso, M., (2005). Population Balances in Biomedical Engineering.

(McGraw-Hill).

Nopens, I. and Biggs, C.A., 2006, Advances in population balance

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Thompson, D.W., (1943). On Growth and Form

9

. (Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge, UK).

9

One may ask: Why topologically equivalent drawings do

represent biologically different species?

Perthame, B., (2006). Transport Equations in Biology. (Birkh¨ auser,

Basel).

Ramkrishna, D., (2000). Population Balances: Theory and Applications

to Particulate Systems in Engineering. (Academic Press).

3.4. Multiscale science and hierarchy

Bergmann, G., 1944, Holism, historicism, and emergence. Philos

Sci, 2(4): 209–221.

Furusawa, C. and Kaneko, K., 1998, Emergence of rules in cell

society: differentiation, hierarchy, and stability. Bull Math Biol,

60: 659–687.

Garnett, A.C., 1942, Scientiﬁc method and the concept of

emergence. J Philos, 39(18): 477–486.

Glimm, J. and Sharp, D.H., 1997, Multiscale science: a challenge

for the 21-st century. SIAM News, 30(8): 4.

Henle, P., 1942, The status of emergence. J Philos, 39(18): 486–493.

Hoover, W.M.G. and Hoover, C.G., 2003, Links between

microscopic and macroscopic ﬂuid mechanics. Mol Phys, 101:

1559–1573.

Li, J. and Ge, W. (eds) 2007, Frontier of chemical engineering -

multiscale bridge between reductionism and holism. Chem.

Eng. Sci, 62(13): 3283–3627, 1611–1904 [special issue].

Li, J. and Kwauk, M. (eds) 2004, Complex systems and multi-scale

methodology, Chem Eng Sci, 59(8–9): 1611–1904 [special issue].

Koplik, J. and Banavar, J.R., 1995, Continuum deductions from

molecular hydrodynamics. Ann Rev Fluid Mech, 27: 257–292.

Lowry, A., 1974, A note on emergence. Mind, 83: 276–277.

Marin, G.B. (ed) 2005, Multiscale analysis, Adv Chem Eng, 30.

Pattee, H.H. (ed) 1973, Hierarchy Theory. The Challenge of Complex

Systems.

Sewell, G.L., (2002). Quantum Mechanics and its Emergent

Macrophysics. (Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA).

Simon, H.A., 1965, The architecture of complexity. Gen Syst, 10:

63–76.

3.5. Education

Andrews, G.F., 1984, Dimensionless education. Chem Eng Educ,

1984(Summer): 112–115.

Bloom, B.S. (ed) 1956, Taxonomy of educational Objectives. The

Classiﬁcation of Educational Goals. Handbook I: Congnitive Domain.

Cadogan, P.H., (1985). From Quark to Quasar. (Cambridge

University Press).

Calder, N., (1984). Timescale. (The Hogarth Press, London).

Churchill, S.W., Summer 1997, New approach to teaching

dimensional analysis. Chem Eng Educ, 31(3): 158–165.

Comenius, J.A., (1657). The Great Didactic, published in Holland [in

Latin]. See also Keatinge, M.W., (1992). Great Didactic of

Comenius. (Kessinger Publishing LLC, London).

Imrie, B.W., 1968, The dimensionless efﬁciency of teaching

dimensional analysis. Bull Mech Eng Educ, 7: 227–235.

Krantz, W.B., 2000, An alternate method for teaching and

implementing dimensional analysis. Chem Eng Educ,

2000(Summer): 216–221.

Krathwohl, D.R., Bloom, B.S. and Masia, B.B., (1964). Taxonomy of

Educational Objectives. The Classiﬁcation of Educational Goals.

Handbook II: Affective Domain. (David McKay Co. Inc, NY).

Marzano, R.J. and Kendall, J.S., (2006). The New Taxonomy of

Educational Objectives. (Corwin Press).

Morrison, P. and Morrison, P., (1994). Powers of Ten. (Scientiﬁc

American Library, NY).

Sides, P.J., 2002, Scaling of differential equations. Chem Eng Educ,

2002(Summer): 232–235.

836

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

Multi-phase ﬂow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.1. Microscale description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.2. Mesoscale description (Euler/Lagrange) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.3. Macroscale description (Euler/Euler) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.4. Retention time distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Transport of heat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. Transport of mass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. Correlations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. Remark on literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix A. Concept of intermediate asymptotics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.1. Motivation example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.2. Two kinds of similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.2.1. Complete similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.2.2. Incomplete similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.3. Two kinds of self-similarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.4. Relation between DA and IA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.5. Beyond IA? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.6. Broader horizons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix B. Suggestions for using and teaching DA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix C. New areas in chemical engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.1. Microreactors and microﬂuidics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.1.1. Microsystems in chemical technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.1.2. Prevailing forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.1.3. Governing equations and boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.2. Biosystems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.3. Multiscale methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5.5.

847 847 848 849 850 852 853 854 857 859 859 859 859 859 859 860 860 861 861 862 863 864 864 864 864 864 865 865

1.

Introduction

2. (DN)

2.1.

Two sources of dimensionless numbers

I have always been puzzled with the plethora of dimensionless numbers (DN) occurring in the various branches of chemical engineering. From sincere discussions with my peers as well as with students an impression has arose that I am not the only puzzled person in this ﬁeld. Consequently, the main motivation of this contribution is to try to brieﬂy review DN commonly encountered at the transport of momentum, heat, and mass, as for their origin, physical meaning, interrelation and relevance for making correlations. The selection of DN is neither objective nor exhaustive, being biased by working mainly in the area of the multi-phase hydrodynamics. The dimensionless (nondimensional) numbers (criteria, groups, products, quantities, ratios, terms) posses the following features. They are algebraic expressions, namely fractions, where in both the numerator and denominator are powers of physical quantities with the total physical dimension equal to unity. For example, the Reynolds number, Re = LV/ , has dimension [1], also denoted as [-]. The dimensionless numbers are useful for several reasons. They reduce the number of variables needed for description of the problem. They can thus be used for reducing the amount of experimental data and at making correlations. They simplify the governing equations, both by making them dimensionless and by neglecting ‘small’ terms with respect ‘large’ terms. They produce valuable scale estimates, whence order-of-magnitude estimates, of important physical quantities. When properly formed, they have clear physical interpretation and thus contribute to physical understanding of the phenomenon under study. Also, choosing the relevant scales, they indicate the dominant processes. There are two main sources of DN: dimensional analysis and scaling of governing equations.

Source one—dimensional analysis (DA)

A general way how to formally describe the surrounding world consists of several steps. First, for the thing under study (‘system’), deﬁne all possible qualities of interest. Second, select those qualities that can be quantiﬁed, i.e. their amount in the thing can be expressed by numbers, or some other mathematical constructs. Call these measurables the physical quantities. Choose the etalons (measuring sticks, units) to measure each of them. Each physical quantity has four attributes: name, notation, deﬁning relation, and physical unit that determine its physical dimension (unit and dimension are often used interchangeably). The ﬁrst two are only our labels, the second two are physically substantial. There are seven basic physical quantities (length, mass, time, electrical current, thermodynamic temperature, luminous intensity, amount of substance). They are measured by seven basic units of the SI system of units (meter, kilogram, second, ampere, Kelvin, candela, mole), which is canonical nowadays. All other quantities are called derived quantities and are composed of the seven basics. Depending on the research area, usually only few basic quantities are used. In mechanics, we have three (length L, mass M, time T), plus one (temperature ) for thermal effects, if these are considered. Having the physical quantities, we want to ﬁnd the relations among them. We either have the governing equations (physical laws) or not. The very basic laws (axioms of nature) cannot be derived: they must be disclosed or discovered. There is nowhere they could be derived from: they are already here, existing silently, demonstrating themselves through a variety of diverse or even disparate effects. Lacking the knowledge

chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868

837

Nomenclature a b c cp C d D Dt,ax e E f F g g h j k K l L m M p P Q r R S t T u v V x z

1

˝

variable in DA; acceleration (m/s2 ) variable in DA concentration (kg/m3 ) heat capacity (J/kg K) coefﬁcient (drag, added mass); concentration scale (kg/m3 ) length, size, particle diameter (m) diameter (m); mass diffusivity (m2 /s) turbulent/axial dispersion (m2 /s) voidage, volume fraction of dispersed phase (-) bulk modulus of elasticity (=1/K) (Pa); energy (J) function symbol (f) force (N); function symbol; factor gravity (m/s2 ) reduced gravity (=( / )g) (m/s2 ) height, depth (m) ﬂux, of heat (J/m2 s), of mass (kg/m2 s) transfer coefﬁcient (J/m2 s K); rate constant (e.g. s−1 ) compressibility (Pa−1 ) length (m) length scale (m) mass (kg) mass scale (kg) pressure (Pa) pressure scale (Pa); period of oscillation (s) ﬂow (m3 /s) radius, position (m); reaction rate (kg/m3 s) reaction rate scale (kg/m3 s) (cross-section) area (m2 ) time (s) time scale (s) velocity (dispersed phase) (m/s); master quantity (u) velocity (continuous phase) (m/s) velocity scale, mean speed (m/s) coordinate, distance, position (m) coordinate, distance, position (m)

frequency, its scale (s−1 ); vorticity scale (s−1 ); ﬂow domain with boundary ∂˝ Nabla operator (m−1 )

Others BC DA DN Hyb IC N O(1) SE 1D [] *

boundary condition (s) dimensional analysis dimensionless number (s) unit of momentum (SI) (kg m/s) = (N s) initial condition (s) number order of unity scaling of equations one-dimensional physical dimension dimensionless, basic DN

Subscripts a added mass b bulk f ﬂuid (continuous phase); ﬂow mix mixture p particle (dispersed phase) r relaxation s, S surface, interface w wall, interface 0 reference value

Greek letters ˛ thermal expansivity (K−1 ) ˇ concentrational expansivity (kg−1 ) shear rate (s−1 ) difference, variation Â temperature (K) temperature scale (K) Ä heat diffusivity ( / cp ) (m2 /s) heat conductivity (J/m s K) capillary length (m) C dynamic viscosity (ﬂuid) (Pa s) kinematic viscosity (ﬂuid), momentum diffusivity (m2 /s) ˘i Pi-term density (ﬂuid) (kg/m3 ) interfacial tension (N/m, J/m2 ) time (s); stress (N/m2 ) ϕ angle ˚ function symbol (˚) ω frequency (s−1 or 2 /s); vorticity (s−1 )

about the basic laws, we must try to ﬁnd them using the other available methods. One such a method is DA. Dimensional analysis consists of three steps. First, make a list of relevant variables, the physical quantities that describe the system. Second, convert these dimensional quantities into DN. Third, ﬁnd a physically sound relationship (scaleestimate) of these DN without help of any governing equations (physical laws). The main problem is to make the list of the relevant variables that is complete and independent. Here the science meets the art: the choice of the variables is highly subjective, beyond any rigour. The other two steps are simple in principle owing to the fact that DA is a rigorous mathematical method operating precisely on the lists of chosen variables. DA relies on several assumptions that are needed for the mathematical proof of its very core, the Pi-theorem. The assumptions are the following. The physical equations are dimensionally homogeneous. The physical equations hold for different systems of units. The dimensions of physical quantities have form of power-law monomials (dimensions like [sin(L) − log(T) + eM ] are not allowed). There are quantities with independent dimensions and their list is complete. Beside these, we tacitly presume: the problem is amenable to DA.

2.2.

Source two—scaling of equations (SE)

The scaling of equations (SE) means nondimensionalization of the equations describing the system under study (equations of motion, fundamental equations, governing equations, etc.). It is a technically simple and transparent procedure, which

1 Since many symbols appear in the text, only those of general use are listed here. At multiple meaning, the context talks. Those of the local meaning, apply usually within one paragraph only, are omitted.

denoted for brevity as A and Bi . . far from unity.1. .1.1.e. We want to ﬁnd the unknown physical law. Then the magnitude of the terms is solely represented by the parameter groups.2) (3. Thus. N = (inertia)/(elasticity) = 1. Realizing that (k/m)1/2 is the oscillator angular frequency ω. this must be done by some other means (e. ak . The process of scaling proceeds as follows. scaling law) for a. . i. (3. .1. . where the dimensionless terms (Pi-terms. Dividing by (kL): d2 x ∗ dt∗2 where the exponents pij are found for each row by comparing the dimensions on both sides. L. Conclude that the diversity of the original fourdimensional problem (2.2) by any parameter group yields the dimensionless equation.2. (3. . . (2. (3.7) The second one is the unknown dimensionless function ˚ that is the ‘ﬁne tuning’ of the scale estimate.1. so they are useful for scaleup/down. According to experimental convenience. this is generally not true. . m. where the both counter-acting forces are somehow balanced.1) to (3. length scale L and time scale T. we get a =˚ A bm b1 b2 b3 .1. For the particular choice of the time scale T = P.4) m kT 2 = − x∗ [-] (2. which is deﬁned by ω = (2 )/P. The dimensionless equations have certain advantages.5) produces one DN. any quantity involved can be used to change the value of ˘ i . Finding ˚ does not belong to the frame of DA. (3.. we have x* ∈ −1.6) We see a certain progress as compared to (3.1. 1 (one swing).g.7) into the equality a = A·˚.025. namely the number N = (m/kT2 ). 1 and t* ∈ 0. For an equilibrium motion like oscillations. the function f. However.1. N shows the (inertia)/(elasticity) proportion correctly. t). The dimensionless numbers are relevant for the problem. 3. It is called the scale estimate (basic scaling. It does not give the relation among these DN.2. t.1): f is written as a product of two things. we have N = (P/2 P)2 = 1/(2 )2 ≈ 0. one would expect that their ratio should be unity. and we write a ∼ A = a1 p01 · a2 p02 · a3 · · ·ak p03 p0k [a].5) is dimensionless.1) described by four quantities (x. DN show the proportion between the individual terms in an equation correctly only when the dimensionless variables (*) are scaled so well to be of order of unity ∼O(1). (3.025:1 = 1/40. The reason is that DN is a very rough estimate of the effects it compares. t.1.. DA merely transforms f into ˚. to convert (3. kL).1. The ﬁrst one is the known dimensional function A that contains the rough essence of f. we combine ai in form of power monomials: [a] = [a1 ]p01 · [a2 ]p02 · [a3 ]p03 · · ·[ak ]p0k · · · ≡ A [a]. For instance. m. ai have mutually independent dimensions.838 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 yields the dimensionless equations and the list of relevant DN. [bi ] = [a1 ]pi1 · [a2 ]pi2 · [a3 ]pi3 · · ·[ak ]pik · · · ≡ Bi [bi ]. The particular value of N depends on the choice of scales.2. . . but ∼103 . t → Tt* in (2. ˘2 . . (2.2) Although (2. (3. and k) are dimensional. . B1 B2 B3 Bm [-]. ˘m ) [a]. These equations apply to all physically similar systems. Dimensional analysis (DA) How DA works Choose one physically dependent variable a and choose further (k + m) independent variables. upon strong understanding that everybody knows what it does mean. . a2 .1) m = −kx [kg m/s2 ].1. on which we presume a depends. k) is reduced to a single number (m/kT2 ) at the price of lacking all details that are below the resolution of the scale considerations. Consequently. the ratio Re = (inertia)/(viscosity) is not exactly 1. .3) This equation is usually written in the following notation as the similarity law for ˘: ˘ = ˚(˘1 . The famous Buckingham Pi-theorem says: It is possible to get from (3. The proportion between individual terms can be seen.1) to only (m) in (3. ˘ i ≡ bi /Bi . It is therefore better to use a vague language and say ‘low Re’ and ‘high Re’. f = A·˚.1. the proportion (inertia)/(elasticity). Rewriting (3.2. ai and bi .. which both are O(1).5) in the dimensional form. They are independent of the system of units. . based on the dimensional homogeneity of physical equations. All k variables ai are hidden in the denominators of ˘ and ˘ i . bm ) [a] = [f ]. at the choice L ∼ amplitude and T ∼ period P. ˘2 . the quantities are separated into dimensionless variables (x*. and rewriting (3. The main gain is the reduction of the number of variables from (k + m) in (3.2. .1) in dimensionless form for another unknown function ˚.3) = −(kL)x∗ [kg L/T 2 ]. Separate them into two classes: parameters (m. then N = (P/2 T)2 . similarity parameters) are ˘ ≡ a/A. ˘m ) [-]. so that k ≤ 3.1. Another advantage is that (3. M. at the laminar–turbulent ﬂow regime transition in pipes. the actual force ratio is N ≈ 0. T. as the similarity law for a: a = A · ˚(˘1 .1.1. take the equation of linear mass-spring oscillator: d2 x dt2 3. . k) and variables (x.2. Choose the scales (characteristic values) for the variables. For instance.1) to obtain mL T2 d2 x ∗ dt∗2 To reproduce the dimensions of a and bi .5).5). With the above pendulum. In mechanics. Generally. . experimentally or numerically). b1 .1..2. t*) and dimensional parameter groups (mL/T2 . we have only three basic dimensions. b2 . Dividing a and bi by the corresponding composites of the same dimension.1) where all the four quantities (x. Dividing (2. .2) has dimension. we presume it does exist: a = f (a1 . Make substitution x → Lx*. of which the dimensions of all remaining variables a and bi can be obtained by combination.1.

it is either by logical contradiction (dimension of l. DA works but gives an incorrect result. 1 – Deﬁnition sketch. Table 1 – Application of DA for ﬁnding period of pendulum. With lesser variables than is due. Using one scale L1 for the correct variables (l. With more Fail Work Fail Fail Insolubility Elimination Contradiction Contradiction First column: variables chosen for pendulum period P.1) now takes form F = f (D. cannot be made up of dimensions of r. 1. Eq. This notation is suitable when it is not clear what is the master quantity. Third column: what DA does? Fourth column: note on result. g. Eq. A simple example demonstrates how the choice of variables affects the output of DA. the correcting function ˚ in (3. This simple example is purely demonstrative. m) P(l.9) is the formula for the friction coefﬁcient C(L/D. L). with P(l. Variables with dependent dimensions are L. ). and another scale L2 for the second part of the correct variables (g) plus some extras. The dependent variable is the drag force F. DA fails by a contradiction. ). (3. The type of failure is the logical contradiction of kind 1 = 0. Second column: features of our choice. At the proper choice. As a guideline.) or by insolubility (extra variables bring more equations but not new dimensions). Let us try different choices of variables. P = 2 (l/g)1/2 Variables P(l. the DA fails. When no exceptional variable a labelled as ‘physically independent’ is or can be explicated.1. / DV) in (3. either the choice of variables is correct or the extra variables are eliminated. Even when we cannot solve them (e. When it works.1. A subtle point is considering several quantities of the same dimension. g(L2 ).g. consider a ﬂow in a pipe.s. D DV [-]. ) P(l. Here. However.h. The independent variables are pipe dimensions (D. The result is summarized in Table 1. The choice is highly subjective and needs profound understanding of the problem. (3.1. .2 Action Work Fail Fail Fail Fail Work Work Work Fail Output Correct result Contradiction Contradiction Contradiction Contradiction Wrong result Elimination Elimination Insolubility [s].1. The quantities must be physically relevant and independent. Comments on DA Choice of variables It is the main problem of DA. When it gives good result. Fig. Consider the mathematical pendulum in Fig. depending on our angle of view at the problem. F. external conditions. P(l. g) and another scale L2 for the extra variables (d). DA fails by insolubility. or.6) contains no argument and equals 2 .1. Deﬁnition sketch in Fig. the length l and gravity g: P(l. we get the correct result. ). V (time). d.g. . intuition. P(l) and P(g). L. the following may happen. and good luck. g(L1 ).chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 839 As an example. P(l. g) = 2 l g 1/2 variables than necessary. the basic scaling for the period. etc. since it is impossible to make up time dimension of P (s) from the length l (m) only.e. P(l.1. . they indicate the relevant quantities. (3. (mass). g. g. 3. when several of them can play this role. m). g(L2 ). L1 ) P(L1 . The correcting dimensionless term ˚(L/D. Pendulum of mass m and hanger length l swings under gravity g in a medium of viscosity (or ). there are recommendations of what should be taken into account (e. P ∼ l2 / . it gives either good or bad result. g) P(l) P(g) P(l.1) is simply written as f = 0. Using the same length scale L for both l and d. and we try to ﬁnd it by DA.1. which is the worst case.1.1. DA either works or fails. g. 3.). g. g(L1 ). material properties.s. DA either recovers the correct result by eliminating the extras. (3. The period P depends on two variables.7) for the basic scaling becomes F ∼ V 2 D2 [N]. L2 ) Features Proper choice Missing variable (g) Missing variable (l) Incorrect substitute (m) Incorrect substitute ( ) Incorrect substitute ( ) Extra variable (m) Extra variable ( ) Extra variable ( ) Extra variable (d) Uniscale L1 Two scales L1. V) [N]. When we try to substitute for the missing correct variable (g) another variable which is not relevant. and their list must be complete. Eq. g). kinematic and dynamic aspects.2. and speed (V).1) Suppose we do not know it.h. Re). ) P(l.10) which is the dynamic ﬂuid pressure ( V2 ) times the crosssection area ∼(D2 ). g. since there is no rigorous procedure for it. DA fails by contradiction.9) Consequently.2. having more unknowns than equations. . (3. L2 ) P(L1 . m) and P(l. g. ) P(l. not a general statement proven for all possible situations. ).2 Two scales L1. (3. 1. DA works and eliminates the extras. i. Very helpful are the governing equations related to the problem. ) P(l. DA thus produces a great deal of the total solution of the whole problem. or. (3. where the variable a becomes bm+1 . d) P(L1 . using L1 for one part of the correct variables (l) plus some extras.2. since there is no indication that things go wrong.2 Two scales L1. experience with usage of DA.4) applied to this example becomes F =˚ V 2 D2 L . To sum up. L1 ) P(L1 .1. system geometry. P(l. ﬂuid properties ( . When it fails. with P(l. g). which remains for experiments. P(l. P ∼ (l/g)1/2 .8) Variables with independent dimensions are D (length). Navier–Stokes equation). m) P(l. DA fails by insolubility. ). (3.

(3. Applying the similarity law.2) With similarity. two in (3. For different choices of ai .9). (Case B) Finite pipe of diameter D and length L. gives the relation between the periods of big and small pendula: PP /PM = (lP /lM )1/2 (scaling rule). . Modelling usually means ﬁnding a description of a small model system on a laboratory scale by DA (model M). 0. kinematics.2. DA is ambiguous with respect to physical kind of systems. Considering the great disparity in size of hydraulic models LM and real water works LP . 2 – Ambiguity of DA.g. PM /(lM /g)1/2 = PP /(lP /g)1/2 . Models with these contradictions are called ‘distorted’. the model and prototype are described by two different relations: ˘ M = ˚M (˘iM ) ˘ P = ˚P (˘iP ) (model). we have modelling based on two Pi-terms. force has {−1.6) has no arguments ˘ i . 2. where it is easy to do measurements. Knowing this may be helpful for designers of big clocks.2. the tuning function ˚ in (3. in contrast with the ‘true’ model.1. it cannot see the physical difference. etc. and. but the simpler the better. 1}. ˘ 2 = Fr.3) may be difﬁcult to guarantee. where it is difﬁcult to experiment. Based on the dimensional homogeneity of (3. For instance.840 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 3.2. With a simple pendulum. DA gives same description. the formula for drag force given by DA in (3.3) 3. namely the Froude and Reynolds numbers. see (3. With more complex systems. ReM = ReP ) implies a severe requirement on the kinematic viscosity of the model and real ﬂuids. Four different ﬂow situations with identical description. to transfer the result on to a For instance. Consequently.1. the three mechanical dimensions generate 3D space (L × M × T) with the base vectors {1. ˘iM = ˘iP ∀i (similarity criteria). 1. All mechanical quantities are represented by vectors in this space: speed has coordinates {1.2) and (3. owing to the unicity theorem for the solution of linear algebraic systems. whose model-prototype equality required by (3.1. DA is not ambiguous with respect to manipulation with symbols representing the input variables. Variables with independent dimensions Of the physically independent variables of f in (3. where we can satisfy all demands. viscosity and speed V. 0. and is constant. we must choose those with independent dimensions (ai ). The demands of the similarity criteria for different ˘ i may not be fully compatible.9)). in virtue of (lP /lM )1/2 (scaling coefﬁcient). ˚M = ˚P . Their equality (FrM = FrP . similar but bigger system (prototype P).1) for pendulum period P ∼ (l/g)1/2 .1. Despite their difference. DA produces different DN. {0. Fluid has density . ˚ = 2 .3) are determined by the standard routine of solving a set of linear algebraic equations. 0}. 1. but the resulting physical information is identical.1. 1. it is difﬁcult to ﬁnd suitable ﬂuids.1. −1}. they all share the same description. 0. density has {0. P / M = (LP /LM )3/2 .1).2.1). {0. Similarity and modelling One paradigm says: If systems are similar. and leave the rest for bi .2. DA gives the scale estimate (3. The similarity criteria may not always be met. −3}. (Case C) Finite plate of size D × L. Without similarity. Increasing pendulum length 25 times gives only 5 times longer period. This statement forms the basis for the theory of similarity (similitude) and modelling (scale-up/down).2. (3. For instance. etc. −2}. We can choose any three non-coplanar vectors for ai .1). the following holds: ˘ M = ˘ P (similarity law for modelling). (prototype). (Case A) Inﬁnite pipe of diameter D and wall roughness L. different systems can have the same description within the framework of dimensional considerations.2. The physical similarity consists in correspondence in geometry. With LP /LM = 102 we need Fig. One may ask: Can dissimilar systems have same description? Consider four physically different systems shown in Fig. the powers pij in (3. in hydraulic engineering. dynamics.2. 0}. ˘ 1 = Re. (Case D) Liquid piston of length L oscillating in a cylindrical oriﬁce of diameter D.1. there can be several Pi-terms (e. The task reduces to ﬁnding k linearly independent vectors in Rk .3.

1) by SE. Our experience says. consider the Reynolds number. Limits of DA where the mass cancels: (l)¨ + (g)x = 0 x [m2 /s2 ]. Second. If this ratio is either too small or too big. we may not want. The act of omitting some variables looks rather subjective. we recover (3. The ﬂow domain itself can be highly anisometric. g). there is no sense to compare them with the viscous effects. one of the effects is simply negligible. As for the output. In sake of simplicity. etc. in sake of simplicity. and the parameters to be left intact. indeed recovers P ∼ (l/g)1/2 . energy dispersion or dissipation during the process evolution. Lz ). we must choose suitable characteristic scales to get the dimensionless variables ∼O(1). etc. Some global conservation characteristics (integrals) of the system are not constant during solution but vary due to the sources. Fortunately. if we feed it with the proper variables. momentum. we want them. Transport of momentum Transport of momentum is a synonym for ﬂuid dynamics. Scaling of variables by general scales L and T gives lL + gL = 0 (‘scale equation’) T2 [L2 /T 2 ]. DA can generate numbers that cannot be obtained by SE. DA gives the scale-estimate of the unknown relation between the quantities. For instance. When it is too small or too large. A body moves along the vertical and its wake grows in the horizontal direction.3).2. Scaling of equations (SE) The motivation for SE and the procedure were brieﬂy introduced in Section 2. Also. one must choose all the quantities. the comparison between DA and SE goes in favour of the latter. and this parameter enters neither of these two limiting theories. to get the proper list of DN. However. Conservation of mass and (linear) momentum of ﬂuid are the governing equations.3) 3. basically doable. so that P ∼ (l/g)1/2 .1) 3. When we neglect the inertia effects completely. 1: (ml)¨ + (mg)x = 0 x [N m]. 4. As an example. a spiralling bubbles rises up and exerts periodic deﬂection in the horizontal plane. like any other mechanism. but must be reﬁned when particular ﬂow situation is analysed. different processes can take place. With SE. On the other hand. however. Both are Choosing the particular scales. having different dimension in different directions. Here. In the same system. Vy . to see the proportion between different terms. With DA. Regime transitions occur during the solution of the problem (some variables lose relevance and new ones come into play). Therefore. The DN usually are ratios of two effects. more sophisticated tools must be developed and employed to cope successfully with these problems. we have either the viscous ﬂow or the potential ﬂow. nabla ∼ 1/L. L = l and T = P. in a boundary layer different processes ‘along’ and ‘across’ can be identiﬁed. DA versus SE As for the subjectivity of choices. there is one. The independent variables are involved in a complicate way (in exponent. There are variables related to the presence of the internal sources/sinks of mass. we do not want some variables in the model. Choose the variables (x. . In addition. each having distinct scales of length. in principle. Ly . These are not the ‘true’ equations. (4. Neglecting variables in DA There are two reasons for neglecting some variables that can apparently play a role in the description of the problem. (4. whose physical relevance may be difﬁcult to assess. Thus. means l2 /P2 ∼ gl.4. As a brief guideline. P/ M 3. The tradition says that these variables are irrelevant. heat. 5. Consequently. these quantities are given by the equations (plus initial and boundary conditions). which are relevant and make x* and t* ∼ O(1). First.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 841 = 103 . we only must choose the variables to be scaled. All these are potentially bad variables. which is rather counter-intuitive. few contraindications to application of DA are the following. but relations that indicate the relative proportions between the individual terms. which can be considered as a generic extension of DA. Likewise.2. based on our subjective choice. whose relevance and completeness is not guaranteed. details of process generation. and only the parameters and scales are retained in the ‘scale equations’.5. DA can reproduce all the numbers obtained by SE. in argument of function. it can be neglected as a category. speed v ∼ V (but not ∼Vx . This ‘uniscale’ approach is acceptable at the general level of description. having different scales. We will not resolve the many possible scales and. We face multiplicity of relevant scales. time. It is convenient to apply SE ﬁrst.). The rationale is. the theory of intermediate asymptotics. The phenomenon of distortion is often qualiﬁed as a drawback of DA.2. Vz ). but the corresponding ND are either small or large. relation (4. in the environment in which the process occurs. decay via equilibration. see Appendix A.2. when little care is taken. For instance. and vice versa. etc. The basic idea of this concept is presented in Appendix A. and thus excluded from further considerations. the following. energy. Different processes can dominate along different spatial directions. Parameters related to variable properties of the (micro)structure/texture of the medium carrying the process are present. length x ∼ L (but not ∼Lx . The governing equation is the conservation of angular momentum. DA too can operate only under certain circumstances: there are physical problems that cannot be solved by DA. t) and parameters (l. and then use DA to ﬁnd the scaling relations between them. In equations.2. a single scale will be employed for each quantity. Fig. a brief notation is used further. its behaviour near the system boundaries. l2 /P2 + gl = 0.2) It was believed that DA is a universal tool whose potential is limited only by the skill of the user. The problem involves information about the initial and boundary conditions: the system behaviour in the initial times.6. and their directional dependence. Further. the complicated issues related to the presence of multiple scales and directional scaling are mostly omitted (except for an example in Section 8). but there are rules for it. that they may be problematic for the smooth operation of DA. (4. speed. The starred dimensionless O(1)-variables are omitted. instead.

2. energy scaling (T = L(M/E)0.3). in the state of balance. For instance. L.1. namely (L/VT) ∼ (unsteadiness)/(convection). we get by scaling the dimensional ‘scale equation’: 0 (5. T). ﬂoating vessels. L. to express their similar order of magnitude: L . we can ﬁnd suitable scales for length L and speed V. terms.2). V. Choosing the variables (v.3) Sr + 1 = Eu + (5.1.5 ). momentum does not have a single-word unit: let us call it Hyb [kg m/s] = [N s]. The problem is how to scale time and pressure. (unsteadiness) and (convection) are also called the inertial forces.∇)v = −∇p + ∇ 2 v + g [Hyb/m3 s] = [N/m3 ] (5. since nothing indicates that the ﬂow is periodic or relaxing. relaxation scaling (T = relaxation time).2) The magnitude of the convective (inertia) force is thus unity. etc.2. The momentum (force) balance for an incompressible Newtonian single-phase ﬂuid reads ∂v ∂t + (v. (5. t). x. as expected. diffusion scaling (T = L2 /D). Moreover.2.2.1. Dividing ﬁnally by the convection term (V/L) we get the dimensionless ‘scale equation’: L VT +1=0 (5. Sr = 1. The Froude number is sometimes (namely in physical literature) deﬁned as (V2 /gL)1/2 . their The basic scaling T = L/V follows from the deﬁnition of Sr = L/TV and also from comparing the unsteady and convection terms.4) We can divide (5. T). i.1. Similar holds for the pressure scale P (P also means P). as a direct consequence of our choice of scaling. which may not be justiﬁed in reality.2.1.1) Unlike force [Newton] or energy [Joule].4). Fr is important where the gravity (buoyancy) and inertia interplay (open channel ﬂow. (5.1. The problem often is how to scale the time.3) T + 0V L =0 [M/L T]. buoyancy driven ﬂows). V/T ∼ V2 /L. Dividing by the convective (inertia) term ( V2 /L). surface waves at long length scales—not capillary waves. (gravity) with one DN. Mass equation of ﬂuid scales (V.4) [1/T]. p. free surface problems.842 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 5. Re Fr Dividing by 1 V + =0 T L 0 the density scale disappears. The four DN have a clear physical meaning in terms of forces: (unsteadiness) .2) by any term.2.5) This should be read: unsteadiness (accumulation) and convection are in balance (same order of magnitude). meaning that the convection term is zero order. There are few general choices: velocity scaling (T = L/V). (convection) P (pressure) Euler number.2. and the parameters ( . x. periodic scaling (T = 1/frequency). The convection (inertia) term is the most ‘ﬂow-like’.2. We can compare the unsteady term L/TV with the other terms in (5.1. We can compare the pressure term P/L with the other terms . TV LV V2 V Choosing the variables ( . V 2 (convection) LV (convection) Reynolds number. V VL Pressure scaling : T = .s. g 5. Sr = L TV Froude number. Gravity scaling : T = V . so it is the natural scaling basis.h.e. Assigning the four DN their proper names we get 1 1 + . P. hydraulic engineering.1. too. namely the latter one. g). v. Re = . their scales ( 0 . but DN would not have the usual names. Eu = . ∼O(0).1. what to take for T. They are called the Eulerian and Lagrangian (convective) accelerations. Using the basic scaling makes the Strouhal number equal to unity. . provisionally. and we get (5. this choice also follows from (5.2.5) (5.6) (unsteadiness) + (convection) = (pressure) + (viscosity) + (gravity). This may not always correspond to reality. (5. We take the ﬁrst. The relevance and use of these numbers follow from their deﬁnitions and physical content. and the parameters (–). we get by scaling: V2 P V V + = + 2 + g [M/L2 T 2 ]. 1/T = V/L.1) (5. we get P gL L + +1= + 2.2) (unsteadiness) + (convection) = 0. The two l. Fr = V2 gL (convection) . because of tradition. In case of incompressible ﬂuid. This balance is due to our choice of T. Momentum equation of ﬂuid Convection scaling : T = → Sr = 1. 3 (5. Few scalings for T were presented at (5. The unsteady and convective forces are thus comparable. Usually. Taking the basic scaling T = L/V turns the ‘scale equation’ into 1 + 1 = 0. P 2 L Viscosity scaling : T = .1) reduces to ∇v = 0. which after scaling gives V/L = 0. T L L L The mass balance (continuity equation) for a compressible ﬂuid reads ∂ ∂t + ∇( v) = 0 [kg/m3 s] (5. t). (viscosity) Strouhal number. Others come from the dynamic equation.

solids). e.2.2. The simplest rotational effect is perhaps encountered in the process of mixing. we look for speed of bodies and particles moving in ﬂuids (bubbles.g. Fast liquid ﬂows with large pressure variance can experience cavitation. Dn = Re(r/rc )1/2 . Similarly. When Ek and Ro are small. For instance. The ratio (gravity)/(viscosity) is often introduced as the Galileo number: Ga = gL3 Re2 = 2 . This scaling is useful. pressure and convective forces are comparable. Their use depends on the ﬂow situation. with an impellor in a container.2. we can obtain other scaling relations between quantities in (5. because it can be put into the gradient form. a balance between pressure and Coriolis forces is reached (geostrophic ﬂows). we must compose them: pressure viscosity pressure gravity viscosity gravity = Eu Re. in sedimentation. related to a very general concept. This is helpful. ∼few seconds for polymer . When some of these DN are ‘missing’ in books and papers. To trace it back. Using the convective (inertial) pressure scaling.g. which are important in geophysical ﬂuid mechanics (meteorology. ∼10−12 s for water molecules. Note the following. Since we customarily divided (5. the authors likely used certain speciﬁc scaling that made them unity. in Taylor–Couette ﬂow between two coaxial cylinders. heat or solute concentration (see Sections 6 and 7). Note that (5. as it usually is in these applications. where both the gravity (g) and centrifugal (ω2 r) accelerations interplay in (5. so that the unsteady. the Deborah number: De = Tr . the ﬂow through curved pipes and sharp bends is characterized by the Dean number. V Note the following. when V is difﬁcult to estimate.g. density and viscosity. The buoyant correction ( / ) of Ga is equivalent to replacing in (5. For instance. L Gravitational scaling : P = gL. which yields V ∼ (g/L)1/2 . which is usual in buoyancy driven ﬂows (see Section 6). For instance. The gravity scaling recovers the primary-school formula for hydrostatic pressure. which can also be deﬁned in terms of (relaxation time)/(shear rate). The Ekman number Ek = ( /˝L2 ) is the force ratio (viscous)/(Coriolis). trifugal ( ˝2 R) and Coriolis (2 where is rotation frequency and R distance from rotation axis. Re → Ga = Re2 → Ar = Ga Fr . Here. the Euler number turns to unity. where the stress tensor takes complicated forms. when particle speed V is not known beforehand. Another one is. e.2).1) contains only two material properties. another rotational effects are studied too. The uniform part of the density ﬁeld can be absorbed in the gradient pressure term (modiﬁed pressure p = p + gz).8) → Eu = 1. Tf (5. (5.2.2. There are many DN arising in particular ﬂow situations. There also is a number. ﬂuidization. There are numbers related to rotational effects. to express their similar order of magnitude: Unsteady scaling : P = → Eu = 1. perhaps without notifying the reader. V Viscous scaling : P = . The pressure and convective forces are then comparable. the surface tension. While these numbers reﬂect the forces due to noninertial reference frame (Earth rotation). they form the macroscopic dispersion.g. the buoyancy term is directly proportional to the density difference = − 0 . certain phenomena are connected (strong collocations: Ekman layers. thank to the fact that gravity has potential. If we want other combinations of forces. and we speak about ‘multi-phase ﬂow’ (see Section 5. enters only via the boundary conditions (Section 5. where the liquid pressure p comes close to or falls below the vapour pressure pv . comparing the corresponding terms. and some of them are mentioned here.). Ga is corrected by ( / ) and the product is called the Archimedes number: Ar = Ga = gd3 2 reduced gravity g = ( / )g in Fr. = Eu Fr. Eu = 1.9) the gravity g with the It compares two time scales: material relaxation time Tr and time of ﬂow or deformation Tf . Fr (5. e.2.2) by the convective (inertia) term.2). For instance. The third one. all numbers in (5.5). where r is pipe radius and rc is radius of curvature. which is nothing but the dynamic pressure. oceanography). Convective scaling : P = V 2 . There are numbers related to rheology of complex ﬂuids with non-Newtonian behaviour.2. When the ‘solute’ particles are so big that they are endowed with their own momentum. the Bingham number ∼(yield stress)/(viscous stress). where we can meet the Taylor number. e. bubble columns.2. sedimentation.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 843 in (5. The Rossby number Ro = (V/˝L) is the force ratio (inertia)/(Coriolis). the Cavitation number Cv = P/ V2 compares the liquid–vapour pressure difference P ∼ p − pv with the dynamic ﬂuid pressure V2 . Then. The former scale is a constitutive property of the material under study and says how quickly it responds to deformation: Tr = 0 for ‘ideal ﬂuid’ with instantaneous response. etc. where cen× v) forces arise in (5. Rossby waves).9) where the square of Re is used for a practical reason: the velocity cancels. the Weissenberg number ∼(ﬁrst normal stress difference N1 )/(shear stress).2. T for T = L it is P = V 2 . speciﬁc numbers can arise. Like with the uniform density.g. in many applications (e.2.1). the so-called gravitational scaling for speed comes from equating convection and gravity.2. Ta = (4˝2 L4 / 2 ). This correction to Re accounts for the effects of the secondary ﬂow driven by the centrifugal force (Dean vortices). also the centrifugal force can be absorbed in the pressure term. as a direct consequence of our choice.7) LV . Similar happens when using the convective scaling for both time T = L/V and pressure P = V2 . This may not always correspond to reality.2). ∼10−6 s for thick lubrication oil (tribology). V2 /L ∼ g. one needs to read carefully what kinds of scales were actually employed.5) relate to the inertia force. With these numbers. Depending on the given stress tensor and the ﬂow situation. It also comes from deﬁnition of Fr = V2 /gL.11) . When buoyancy effects are relevant. and the relevance of the forces involved.10) This number is also (and more naturally) obtained by scaling the Newton force law for a body falling/rising in a ﬂuid under gravity (see Section 5. = Fr . drops.4). or when the speed is a part of the problem solution. The cause of density variations within a (incompressible) ﬂuid can be. yielding Sr = 1 and Eu = 1. (5. p = gh. (5.2. but particle size L is.5.2.1).

or the Alfven number. Dividing by the convective term ( V2 ). The pressure and gravity disappear due to their gradient nature (they generate no torque). on that day). and their equations obtained by manipulating (5. speciﬁc numbers appear.3. However.∇) = ( . When we neglect the dissipation and thermal effects and take the steady ﬂow. and is zero in 2D case. This walking is due to relaxation times of water molecules. which appear in different translations. room temperature) ﬂuids. we see/feel the material liquid at low De (De 1) and solid at high De (De 1).e.2. P. The later scale is a property of the deformation process: the length of the deformation experiment. Also. when the same scales are used for these two physically different terms. there is a limit. the expressions ‘to quake’ or ‘to melt’.g. we can introduce the Cauchy number Ch = V2 /E. the king of Canaan.2) Here. Density variations in a ﬂuid can be estimated by / ∼ K p. Therefore. Kn = Lm /Ld . Earth core. the Mach number Mc = V/Vs is of paramount importance. because of tradition. the conservative Bernoulli equation results. 2007). i. To see it. e. g). enstrophy is the square of vorticity ((1/2) 2 ).2. Not surprisingly.3.g. which is the ﬁrst integral of the corresponding momentum equation: 1 2 v + p + gh = const. also other quantities can be derived from the velocity ﬁeld. e.3.1): ∂ ∂t + (v. we get by scaling: V 2 + P + gL = const.1). metallic and ionic melts. the mountains ‘ﬂew’ not because of the very long observation time (only ∼1 (human) day. under its own gravity: glass tables in windows of cathedrals.844 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 melts. when the ﬂow is highly rareﬁed and events on microscale become relevant. any ordinary mortal can walk over water.3) Assigning the DN their proper names we get 1 + Eu + 1 = const. the Lord with Tf ∼ eternity could see ‘mountains ﬂowing before Him2 ’. L). Book of Judges. but to show that it does not have its recourse in the Deborah song (and that the Lord was likely not the very ﬁrst rheologist).2. [J/m3 ] 2 (convection) + (pressure) + (gravity) = const. God subdued Jabin. p ∼ V2 . Thus. the length of observation of the material under load. A relation holds.1) Choosing the variables (v. Other related number is the Eckert number. we get 1+ gL P + 2 = const. the corrections to rareﬁcation are needed when Kn is large (gas at low pressure.1.g. plasma).4). e. Ec ∼ Mc2 . V2 V (5. to ensure Tf > Tr . The compressibility effects are important when / > 1. Fr (5.4. Note that the transport coefﬁcient for diffusion of both momentum and vorticity is the same (namely ). Cdilute = Cnormal /F. years). These scalar quantities are often used in turbulence. the things we consider ‘solid’ in our everyday life (Tf ∼ hours. provided one paces faster than ∼10−12 s.∇)v + ∇ 2 [Hyb/m4 s] (unsteadiness) + (convection) = (vortex stretching) + (vorticity diffusion). When dealing with rareﬁed ﬂuids (gases). Walking supported by surface tension is mentioned in Section 5. Note that the convection and vortex stretching terms are comparable. To witness it. and the vortex stretching term emerges. Related to energy is so-called enstrophy. by Kn ∼ Mc/Re. and Tr = ∞ for ‘ideal solid’ that does not deform at all. The simple fact that all real materials have Tr < ∞ has an important consequence: everything ﬂows. On the other hand.g. Since 1/K is the bulk modulus of elasticity E. The scale Tf for geological processes is even longer. using the inertial pressure scaling. where K is the ﬂuid compressibility and p pressure variation. The vorticity equation is obtained by taking Curl of momentum equation (5. days. we have Mc > 1. (5. p. 5. (5. One such correction is the Cunningham (slip) factor F. membranes.5) 2 This is often quoted in the reology literature with reference to the Deborah song (The Old Testament. in small domain—porous media. T L L L (5. interior of stars. which relates the drag coefﬁcients in the dilute and ‘normal’ (atmospheric pressure. The cross-product is called helicity ((1/2)v· ). the easiest one. [M/LT 2 ]. F depends on Kn. or similar. can ﬂow during centuries and millennia (e. microchannels). For instance. P ∼ V2 and P ∼ gL. Reiner (1964) introduced the concept of De with reference to the ‘ﬂowing mountains’ in this song. It is important for the energy ﬂow down the turbulent cascade. lead pipes in old buildings). ˝ V˝ V˝ ˝ + = + 2 .3. faster than it can open. In terms of the Knudsen number.3. causing some anomalous phenomena. whence low De. It is right that the original Hebrew word means ‘to ﬂow’ (root ‘nzl’ = .3. V > 1/(K )2 . where our hypothesis about their continuous nature breaks: when the mean free path Lm of the ﬂuid molecules is comparable with the domain size Ld . their scales (V. and often not necessary. Ec = V2 /cp ∼ (kinetic energy)/(enthalpy). ˝ = V/L. h). to ﬁnd that Ch = Mc2 . we can see the convective and gravitational scaling for the pressure directly. Summing up. are closer to the original message. There are not enough mutual collisions between molecules to ensure the statistically stable averages. like F = 1 + Kn·f(Kn). which arises from scaling the full energy equation (temperature rise by adiabatic compression). Like the energy. one should span very long period. Note that the macroscopic no-slip condition on the wall also breaks. Kn relates to Re and Mc. we must perform/watch the experiment on large enough time scales Tf . and the parameters ( .4) It is a counterpart of the steady and inviscid (5. When dealing with conducting ﬂuids (magnetohydrodynamics—conducting ﬂuids in magnetic ﬁeld. N = (magnetic permeability)2 × (magnetic ﬁeld)2 × (electrical conductivity) × L2 / . etc. so only Eu and Fr are present. Their equations can easily be scaled and the corresponding . This note is not to undermine the great concept of De. When dealing with compressible ﬂuids. ´ Hedanek. Energy per unit mass is the square of velocity ((1/2)v2 ). Chapter 5. ∼aeons. Some estimates of ˝ can be made. Realizing that 1/(K )1/2 is the speed of sound Vs . Energy equation of ﬂuid The derivation of the full energy equation is cumbersome. but because of the short-time and intense anger of God. Verse 5). Water is ‘solid’ when we hit it very fast.

5. Decomposing the force into normal (normal stress.e. and should also be scaled. or attached to a needle (L ∼ oriﬁce size). where the inertia force (dynamic load) produced by the walker must not exceed the bearing power of the ‘ﬂexible membrane’ of the surface tension. It is not sure. bounded by a rigid wall. the static value of can be obtained. the length scale L must be the drop size. An important quantity relates to Bo. extractors. It applies to deformation of bubbles and drops at free rise or on collisions with an obstacle where dynamic effects are important. BC are equations that the variables must fulﬁl at the boundary ∂˝ of the ﬂow domain ˝. Besides the four DN arising from the normal component of the BC in (5. the no-slip BC applies. whether the terminology (if any) of numbers thus produces is established and settled. For instance. the boundary conditions (BC) can be more elaborate. Upon different scalings for pressure P. the capillary length C . There are important DN stemming from the free-slip BC that relate to deformation of ﬂuid particles and interfaces. it also reﬂects the particle deformation due to the converging/diverging streamlines. and with rigid walls (coalescence. they must also be scaled. Other situation is standing on the water surface. etc. pressure) and tangential (shear stress) components. ﬂotation columns. Boundary conditions: no slip and free-slip Initial and boundary conditions inseparably pertain to the governing equations. The Weber number We compares the inertia and capillary forces. bouncing.2) Here ( ) means that both and can be used. (capillarity) (5. or perhaps even the capillary length. Consequently. and gravity version reads Mo = g 4 / 3 = g 3 / 3 . which occurs in the range up to ∼ C from the wall. that the length scale L cannot be chosen arbitrarily but must relate to the curvature of the interface that produces the corresponding capillary pressure /L [Pa]. (capillarity) (viscosity) (5. the normal component gives a number that compares the ﬂuid pressure and the Laplace pressure produced by the interface tension. where the deformation and the motion can strongly be coupled.2. the size of a bubble or drop. in such a way. v = 0.e. The initial conditions (IC) are given functions of the spatial distribution of the variables in the initial time. during the whole process of solution. Typical situations are. Choosing something else would be physical nonsense. Similar situation is when bubbles or drops are entrapped below a horizontal wall. whence low Bo is required. which is far from being trivial. frequently encountered in bubble columns. The Bond number Bo and the Eotvos number Eo mean the same: the ratio of gravity ( ) or buoyancy ( ) forces to the capillary forces. the number N takes the following forms and names: Unsteady scaling of P : Un = Convective scaling of P : We = Viscous scaling of P : Ca = V L2 V T (unsteadiness) . besides v/V.1). The unsteady number Un turns into the Weber number upon the convective scaling for time T = L/V. that it contains only the material properties of ﬂuids (plus gravity): Mo = We3 .chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 845 DN formed. Low We means low deformation.1.4.4. It follows from the physical situation. whence low We is required. provided that it corresponds to the physical situation in question. bouncing at a wall and path instability of rising/falling ﬂuid parti- The buoyant version reads Mo = ( )3 4 g/ 4 3 = g( )3 4 / 3 . Re4 Fr Gravitation scaling of P : Bo = Eo = (gravity or buoyancy) . Note that other mechanisms of water walking exist. for L should be taken the radius of curvature. In single-phase ﬂow. The typical situation is the capillary elevation of the water surface near the wall of the glass. the gravity prevails and the surface is ﬂat. It can also be obtained by DA. 5.g. i. small reptiles (genus Basiliscus) can run over water using a supporting impulse from a liquid jet created by a speciﬁc shape of their feet. (capillarity) (inertia) . Normal component of free-slip BC By scaling.4. which is simple and merely says that the speed is zero at the wall. (capillarity) ( ) gL2 ( ) LV 2 cles. sometimes called the Laplace number. Other situation is walking over water (hydrophobic feet assumed). Consider that gravity forces dominate on large length scales at Bo ≥ 1.2. The typical situation is drainage of a thin liquid ﬁlm between two interfaces. From the equilibrium deformation of bubbles and drops. where Bo compares the hydrostatic pressure across the drop ( gL) with the capillary pressure ( /L) inside the drop. The typical situation is deformation of a stagnant drop sitting on a horizontal plane. at least one of them is ﬂuid (to have in play).4. and vice versa.4. Here. BC says: jump in ﬂuid pressure is balanced by tension . Naturally. which is kind of unnecessary. The typical applications abound: interactions of ﬂuid particles with themselves. and capillary forces dominated on small length scales at Bo ≤ 1. anything from (5. with solids. ). On the other hand. other numbers besides We play a role too. What can be put for the ﬂuid pressure scale P? Generally. and We from the BC. 5. Find the critical (capillary) length scale C . well beyond the bearing capacity of the surface tension.4. It is a force balance at the ﬂuid–ﬂuid interface. There is actually nothing to scale. another composite number is often used. gradient along interface). the tangential component gives a number that compares the surface gradient of the interface tension S and the ﬂuid shear stress . N = S / . The Morton number Mo is an artiﬁcial conglomerate that combines Re and Fr from the governing equations. N = P/( /L). The Capillary number Ca compares the viscous and capillary forces. Since We stems from the Lagrangian acceleration term. adhesion). where deformable ﬂuid interfaces separate immiscible phases with certain interfacial (surface) tension . La. Quickly we see that the capillarity prevails over gravity when L ≤ C = ( /( ) g)1/2 . where Bo = 1. . putting stress either on gravitational or buoyant aspect of We and Bo. Tangential component of free-slip BC By scaling. It is relevant when viscous forces dominate. and jump in ﬂuid stress is balanced by surface gradient of tension S (i. There is not much to scale. In multi-phase ﬂow. Beyond this.1) . e. Since the quantity S . by forming a dimensionless group of (g. As such. where the static load of the stander must not exceed the strength of the surface tension. slow ﬂows and small scales. . the free-slip BC applies.7).

A qualitative sketch of the surfactant action is shown in Fig. . Based on their tendency to gather at the interface. they are inorganic substances (salts of mineral acids. but the relevant length scale L can cover very vast range of values.02–0.846 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 is called the Marangoni stress Marangoni number Ma: Ma = Ma Ma . the equilibrium between the bulk and interface is assumed (formulas are then called ‘isotherms’). all real processes take place in systems that contain ‘impurities’. Besides. The problem of ﬁnding the interfacial distribution of Â(x)S and c(x)S is much more complicated. it generates many other interesting phenomena. Often. Taking it ∼ /L. For these reasons. The resulting bubble size depends directly on only at the very low-gas ﬂow where the equilibrium between buoyancy and surface force is reached during the quasi-steady inﬂation. Consider for instance. detergents. They delay the rise of drops and bubbles in ‘contaminated’ water. They are important in several situations. the number N is called the . To close the problem.4) V It may be difﬁcult to estimate the velocity scale V for complex motions near interfaces on the convection basis. Otherwise.08 N/m gives almost identical results.e. c)bulk are established too. which is. they are organic substances (emulsiﬁers. The Marangoni number then reads Ma = ⎧ ⎪ ⎨ ⎪ ⎩ L d ∂Â . Two situations usually occur: variation of is caused by a difference in temperature Â or in surfactant concentration c. The help comes from the thermodynamics and physical chemistry of surfaces. Â(x)S and c(x)S . as well as the spatial distribution along the interface of the agent itself. Moreover. The signiﬁcance of the Marangoni number is that its large value indicates the presence of strong Marangoni stresses. as the liquid passed around the bubble. (5. This interfacial surface tension gradient ( S ) is a tensile force that generates the Marangoni stresses. the positive surfactants have ce > cb . which gives Ma = /L V/L = . surfactant). their surface tension proﬁle is the same. their surface concentration is larger than the bulk concentration (cs > cb ). During the bubble rise. It is consistent with using the viscous scaling for the ﬂuid stress: in both cases. we must ﬁnd the dependence of the interface tension on the agent content. ﬁne bubbles can ‘rise down’ in a liquid with inverse temperature gradient (hot-bottom cold-top arrangement). i. extractors) and adhesion (ﬂotation). V ∼ (diffusivity)/L. which suppress the coalescence (bubble columns. When an equilibrium is reached. where ϕ is the angle along the interface of a bubble or drop. On the other hand. The effects produced by surfactants in gas–liquid systems are enormous. In the latter case. making /L very much varying quantity. However. Surfactants cause large effects even at trace amounts. Ä dÂ ∂ϕ L d ∂c . with fast temporal changes. wetting agents. ionic solutions. within orders of magnitude. and L corresponds to their size. we are on mercy of numerical experiments by CFD. adsoption/desorption kinetics). at the thermocapillary migration. the gas holdup correlations involving are extremely unreliable. It is difﬁcult to separate the effect of and that of S . with respect to this particular variable. where the relation between and (Â. The surface gradient can develop over any distance. involved in violent breakup of irregular gas jets produced by the gas distributor.g. Its tail feels a generally different concentration. The increase in the resistance force is the natural result (retardation of bubble rise in contaminated media).e. we have within the factor of 4 (i.) that decrease the surface tension signiﬁcantly. Moreover. electrolytes. transport.08 N/m. it is = (d /dc)·(∂c/∂ϕ) and V = D/L.3) In case of a ﬂat surface. Typically. the magnitude of S is difﬁcult to estimate. despite the opposite concentration proﬁles along the interface of the positive and negative surfactants. . which is material property of static equilibrium). the gradient formation and evolution is a dynamic process. two classes of surfactants can be distinguished: positive and negative. The negative surfactants are repelled from the interface.4.4.02 and 0. In both cases. the rear is low and the front is large. its nose feels the bulk concentration (cb ). At the ﬁrst guess. Also. differing by factor of 4. D dc ∂ϕ (thermocapillarity). while re-distilled water and tap water may differ by tenth of percents in gas holdup. Typically. Better understanding the surface processes and their proper scaling is needed. it is = (d /dÂ)·(∂Â/∂ϕ) and V = Ä/L. They delay the drainage of the ﬁlm between interfaces. that bubbling into two ‘extremely different’ liquids with = 0. itself inﬂuence directly only relatively few hydromechanical processes. c)S at the interface is determined. V is expressed with help of the diffusivity of the agent that causes the interface tension variance (heat. that if the positive surfactant delays the bubble rise. their surface concentration is smaller than the bulk concentration (cs < cb ). resulting from the adsorption/desorption transport processes occurring between the bulk and the interface. This is not the case of real gas–liquid contactors. while the negative ce < cb . Obviously. so the negative surfactant will accelerate it. (5. The positive surfactants are attracted to the interface. c)S at the interface and that in the bulk (Â. where a tension difference develops over a length L. in the direction opposite to the main ﬂow over the bubble. (5. For instance. (Â) and (c). the molecular transport is reﬂected. Consider a bubble of size L. where all processes are strongly coupled (ﬂow. from 0 to ∼L. etc. and the diffusive scaling is therefore applied. not so. These stresses move the liquid material elements along the interface. however. The ﬂuid stress can be estimated by the viscous scaling as ∼ V/L. One may suspect that effects of the latter are more frequent and more important. e. In the former case. where the bubble size depends on many other effects. almost ‘constant’ for all liquids). which readily act as surface active agents (most of chemical compound. The most of the common liquids (either pure or in mixtures or with surfactants) have in the range ∼0. the students (and not only them!) would say. 3. Under severe assumptions on the ﬂow and transport of Â and c we can make simpliﬁed theories. etc. no surprise. reactants). The speciﬁc formulation depends on the physical process that causes the variation of along the interface. Similar is the electrocapillary motion. and the relation between (Â. which depends on the ﬂow situation (unlike . Surface tension effects are very complex and very tricky. where the surface variation of is caused by the electric charges.) that increase the surface tension only slightly. Therefore.5) (surfactants). . the surface gradient can be estimated as S ∼ /L. the bubble formation process. tensides. the rear concentration can be denoted as ‘equilibrium concentration’ (ce ).4.

Multi-phase ﬂow Microscale description (DNS) On the ‘microscopic’ level. (e) Surface tension proﬁle along bubble surface: both positive and negative surfactants have same proﬁle. We should write (N + 1) Navier–Stokes equations.5.1. polar parts remain in polar water. 3 – Positive and negative surfactants in air–water system. Surface tension gradient ( S ) corresponds to rubber sheet with variable thickness: thicker regions shrink. Negative surfactants increase surface tension (little). We obtain the ﬂow ﬁeld in every point of the disper- .5. They are coupled by sharing the same boundary condition at the particle–ﬂuid interface. making thinner regions expand (surface gradient is seen in (a)). Negative surfactants are repelled from surface: polar ions are repelled by nonpolar air and attracted by polar water. (d) Concentration proﬁle along surface of rising bubble: positive surfactants have ce > cb . (b) Concentration proﬁle perpendicular to surface: positive surfactants have cs > cb . (c) Positive surfactants decrease surface tension (much). (a) Positive surfactants are attracted to surface: nonpolar parts point to nonpolar air. in both phases: inside N discrete dispersed particles (bubbles. 5. negative surfactants cs < cb . solids—no ﬂow inside). 5. the ﬂow is fully resolved. drops. and solve them simultaneously.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 847 Fig. and around them in the one continuous carrying ﬂuid. negative surfactants ce < cb .

9) Substituting the typical closures for the forces. as seen by the ﬂuid.2. we have the relaxation time: Tr = m d [T]. ). the concept of buoyancy reﬂected by Ar has much clearer interpretation than in the single-phase ﬂow: the effect of particle–fuid density difference is obvious.8) becomes m du = −3 dt du [Hyb/s] (unsteadiness) = (drag).848 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 sion. where an equilibrium is established between the driving forces (Ar. (5.s. we get by scaling: 1 L2 V2 C 2 4 Substituting for the particle mass m = ( /6)d3 2 pd 2 pd p. using the single-phase equation—one Navier–Stokes (Eulerian view).5) which is nothing but Ar = 3 C Re2 .5.5.5.7) where L stands on l. so that the size and speed are decoupled. the gravitational scaling is employed V ∼ (g/L)1/2 .11) Choosing the variables (d. (5.) and the resistance force (Re.2. Here.h. Their motion is described by set of N equations of motion of system of bodies in space (Largangian view). There are no extra forces. we have a linear relaxation process and (5. (5. interface area [m2 /m3 ]. It leads to an iteration procedure in solving the sedimentation problem. there are many new equations with new forces. the time is 6 gL3 = [N]. The former are produced by an external ﬁeld (e. and drag play the main role.6) into Ar1/3 = 3 C Ly2/3 .12) . a node). level set method. r. t).2) First. converts (5.s. The many kinds of hydrodynamic forces acting on the particles are given by various closure formulas.10) 6 gd3 = ( = p − f) [N] (5.5. The forces depend on the local ﬂow ﬁeld near the particles. Currently there are several numerical strategies. l. (5. a stable equilibrium presumed. their scales (V. We have the full information about the problem. T).5. while the latter involves speed as the main ingredient.4) Tr = 6 ∼ [T]. and V2 on r. Note that both particle size L and speed V are involved in Re(L. gravity). this new term contains the following ingredients: surface force [N/m3 ] ∼ interface tension [N/m]. without (particle → ﬂuid) coupling. The dispersed particles (bubbles.g. The speciﬁc way how this surface force is converted into a volumetric force and implemented depends on the modelling approach to the DNS. buoyancy. Second.4) directly into the momentum equation (Section 5.5. interface curvature [m−1 ]. consider an unsteady motion.8) m [Hyb/s].1) In the simplest case of the Stokes drag.2. how to describe interfaces and their motion (e. which is the paradigm of sedimentation: du = gravity − buoyancy − drag dt This is an important criterial equation for problems with falling/rising particles.5. This intermediate-resolution approach is in the CFD jargon called the ‘Euler/Lagrange simulation’ (E/L).5.g. and new DN will appear.h. experiment. The interface forces move the particles and deform the interfaces. It indicates a close relation between Re and Ar in this type of problems. u). 4 (5. (5. (5. consider a steady particle motion.h. g.5. (5. The particles can also affect the ﬂuid motion.5. As for the scaling. Another problem of course is with C = C(Re(L. their scales (L. All of them can be scaled. Usually. there is a difference: the surface tension force is moved from the boundary condition (Section 5. Choosing the variables (u. (5.3) (gravity) − (buoyancy) = (drag). front tracking method. obtained by other means (e.2.5. volume of ﬂuid method). which transforms Re into Ga = Re2 /Fr.s.). we get by scaling: mV = dV T [ML/T2 ].6) 5.5. By turn. This would yield ( /L)/( V2 ). V) and only size in Ar(L3 ). Dividing mercenarily by 2 = . this term could be inertially scaled by ( V2 /L). it reads du = d3 dt 6 1 d2 2 4 m pg − 6 d3 f g − 2 fu C [Hyb/s].1). DNS). and the parameters ( . where the speed depends on the particle size. The Lyjascenko number.h.5.s. solids) are considered being pointwise.1)). Note that L must keep the meaning of the particle size d. Consider only the simplest case of a sedimenting particle in a stagnant unbounded ﬂuid. u = u0 ) [Hyb/s].. as a feedback (coupling). which is nothing but We−1 . the ﬂow ﬁeld is resolved only in the continuous phase. like any other term in (5. under the force equilibrium: 1 d2 2 u C 2 4 This is a rare occasion in two-phase ﬂow when we can ﬁnd the relaxation time (original disturbance is reduced by 1/e ≈ 64%. as compared with the singlephase ﬂow. V). and the parameters (m. As compared with the single-phase ﬂow. 24 2 (5. d. 4 (5. However. A usual trick is to separate these two with help of a new suitably deﬁned number. This ﬁne microscale approach is in the CFD jargon called the ‘direct numerical simulation’ (DNS). Since the speed in Re is often the part of the solution. V)). drops. we get dimensionlessly gL3 6 2 = 1 L2 V 2 C. C). where gravity. when the resistance force consumes the initial momentum of a particle: 1 d2 du =− dt 2 4 2 fu C m (IC : t = 0. Mesoscale description (Euler/Lagrange) On the ‘mesoscopic’ level. .g. (5. Ly(V3 ) = Re3 /Ar = (V3 /g )( / ).5. Eq.5.

when accelerated with respect to the surrounding (viscous) ﬂuid. St = p dV/ ≈ dV/ = Re. the better for adhesion (no bouncing). which actually is St. namely in case of simple ﬂuids. and than the smallest scales we want to resolve. Since the particle must feel the changes in the ﬂuid. drops. The relaxation time just found is useful for a variety of situations. making the problem easier to handle. the dispersed particles (bubbles.5. but they are too monstrous. and the many closures needed for them are still missing. the basic estimate of Tf can be made. which is acceptable.g. it can be recasted in terms of the friction forces (particle collisional)/(ﬂuid viscous).5.9) directly: u(t) = u0 exp − 3 m d t [m/s].effective ≈ . St is the ratio (particle inertia)/(ﬂuid inertia). at this mesoscale level of description. the ratio u/u0 be exp(−1) = 1/e.13) The exponent should be of the form (t/Tr ). the Bagnold number in granular ﬂows. On the other hand. and L ∼ d. We appreciate it namely in case of bubbles in liquids. Then the particle density becomes: p → ( p + Ca ). Now. in order. the relaxation time is Tr = 1 18 2 pd stress in the particulate phase. with 1 cm bubbles.5.∇)(ε v) = ∇ε +ε f+S (5.19) ∂ ∂t ε u + (u. This approximation is acceptable when we describe the system on length scales much larger than the discrete scales. Other numbers appear in speciﬁc areas of multi-phase ﬂows. . suggested for speciﬁc systems and particular ﬂow situations. the Stokes number is St = p dV .5. p. Then. ∼ 2 pd [T]. (5. For instance. We have three orders of magnitude to bridge the gap. More correctly. It is used in devices (impactors) where aerosol particles are sorted out by their value of St. especially here. Tf ∼ L/V. With ∼ V/L. The governing equations for single-phase ﬂow are often said to be derived from the ‘ﬁrst principles’.5. we couple them by the common length scale. L = d. particles with large St easily hit the wall in bendings of a duct. which would be of practical use. to reach the limit of so-called ‘dry’ granular ﬂows. at t = Tr . (5. the particle mass used above should also contain the added mass Ca . in multiple progressively narrowing U-bends. m = (( /6)d3 ) ( p + Ca ). The Stokes number measures the willingness of the car to get off the road when you turn the stirring wheel suddenly. tracer). where V ∼ d. as two Navier–Stokes-like equations: • Continuous phase: ∂ ∂t ∂ ∂t ε + ∇(ε v) = 0 (mass) [kg/m3 s]. yet of limited use. to distinguish between the ‘fast’ and the ‘slow’. clearly given by the particle size. there also are many simple equations.18) (momentum) [Hyb/m3 s]. where p / ≈ 10−3 . the Stokes number becomes the Reynolds number. e. There are many general equations suggested. These mechanical principles are known for a single continuum.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 849 Another way is to solve the linear problem (5. the governing equations should be twice Navier–Stokes: one for the continuous phase and one for the dispersed phase (two interpenetrating continua.5. forming a ‘pseudo-continuum’. One important case is the concept of the Stokes number St. it is a ratio of the collisional On the ‘macroscopic’ level. solids) are considered as a phase smoothly distributed in space. here we write the two-phase ﬂow equations purely formally. and the beginning of the continuum by 10−6 m. (5. (5. This coarse macroscale approach is in the CFD jargon called the ‘Euler/Euler simulation’ (E/E). Accordingly. It compares two time scales: particle relaxation time Tr and time of ﬂow change Tf : St = Tr .20) (momentum) [Hyb/m3 s]. Accordingly. with which a bubble collides with particles: the lower St. so that the bubble inertia is represented by the added mass.16) In other words. compares the effect of the interstitial ﬂuid on the motion of the granules (grains). Then.5. where time scales of different processes are compared. Further. i.5. say. comparable with bubble size. Tf (5. As a compromise. estimate the discrete (atomic) scales by 10−9 m. which are practical. • Dispersed phase: ∂ ∂t ε + ∇(ε u) = 0 (mass) [kg/m3 s]. The particles and their spacing must be much smaller than the system size. meaning ∼ (particle–joint ﬂuid inertia)/(‘viscous ﬂuid inertia’).5. and the viscous ﬂuid stress ∼ . since Ca is O(1). Equivalently. As such. for their spacing be small. Macroscale description (Euler/Euler) The variance of (3 ) between (5.17) ε v + (v. being expelled from the main stream to the wall by their inertia.15) The former says how fast the particle relaxes back to the steady state. In the single-phase ﬂow.∇)(ε u) = ∇ε +ε f−S (5.12) and (5. Without a priori knowledge. when unsteady effects are considered.e. where is the velocity gradient and d the particle size.5. Here. Ba = p dV/ . These equations are coupled via the interphase momentum transfer. to consider the bubbles as the continuous phase. by the liquid inertia. The total ﬂow-follower has St = 0 (passive scalar. The latter says how fast the ﬂow ﬁeld changes. On the other hand. In terms of stresses. we lack a universally valid equation. The adhesion efﬁciency of the ﬂotation process also depends on the value of St. which in turn leads to the time decoupling. presence of many bubbles is anticipated. it is used in many situations when we want to know how much the dispersed particles tend to follow the streamlines of the carrying ﬂuid. which by the kinetic theory is ∼ p V2 . Ba = p d2 / . the reactor should be of 10-m size. (5.14) 5.3. The particles are then assigned continuous concentration and velocity ﬁelds.5. twice Euler’s view). but are only in the process of development for the multi-phase systems.5.14) is the modest price for bypassing the exact solution by the scaling. The presence of the interstitial ﬂuid can be neglected at large Ba.

two kinds of new DN could appear.5. (5. and the overall formulation can be within the Langevine ansatz (random forcing. (5. and much less understood multi-phase ﬂows. The dispersed phase has density . where the dispersed phase affects the intrinsic momentum transport substantially. The latter would indicate how strong the phase coupling is.5. Retention time distribution These modiﬁcations must also be reﬂected by Eqs. before starting any kind of thoughts about the processes in a given apparatus. If the dispersed phase constitutes a microscopic dispersion.5. Since the dispersion does not exist on the macroscale. velocity u. the particles are the mechanical individuals (small bodies) and have their own momentum. Davis (1996).5. The main multi-phase problem is to formulate the stress tensors and the interaction term S. whence the momentum equation (5. inertia. This is not the way we wish to . together with (5.19) then becomes: • Dispersed phase: ∂c ∂t + (v. stress tensor .5. For instance.21) into the ﬂuid density in (5.21).850 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 The continuous phase has density . these equations represent the non-inertial microdisperse limit of the governing equations (5.23) formally coincide with those for heat and mass transport considered in Sections 6 and 7. velocity v.5. This is the convection–buoyancy two-way coupling. since the ﬂuid does not receive momentum from the dispersed particles.5. The quantity (ε ) is replaced with the scalar concentration c. Usually. heat.5. very small particles (solute/solvent molecules) are moved by force laws of various degrees of resolution.5. stochastic differential equations). Note that Eqs. The speed u is identiﬁed with v.17) and (5. volume fraction ε . stress tensor .22) and (5. some are modelled as random thermal noise to account for Brownian effects.18).21)–(5.21). Set S = 0. the ﬁrst-order inertial effects can be added to this base state.20) applies. It is the very ﬁrst thing one must do. = (c). (5. Omit the apostrophe at and .21) with D ≡ 0. colloidal. and bubbly columns may shear certain common features with phenomena of thermal convection or halinoconvection. The molecular diffusion term is added to the r. very ﬁne particles called ‘passive scalars’ and used for ﬂow visualization (tracers). it depends on our choice.17)–(5.5.4. the diffusion term (D) in (5. Another issue is what is the relevant density of a multi-phase mixture. and exports the concentration c from (5.20) is omitted and (5.23). The individual particles passively follow the ﬂow (St = 0).5.5. and (5. We assume that the tracer concentration obeys (5. 5. as compared with single-phase ﬂow. Some forces are derived directly from molecular potentials. (5. to decide.5.5. when evaluating the buoyancy force acting on a submerged body. In the Stokesian (hydro)dynamics.23) into (5.5. One comes from scaling the stress term . In the molecular dynamics.. the macro and micro.23). The (micro) dispersed phase imports the ﬂuid velocity v from (5. to create the RTD response curve. the buoyancy-driven instabilities in sedimenting layers. and not to diffuse.∇)( v) = −∇p + ∇ 2 v + f [Hyb/m3 s]. (5. Indeed.5. etc.21) to (5. Another aspect is reﬂected by rheology.5. etc.5. These macroscopic effects consist in ﬂuid density variations caused by distribution of the particle concentration.5. The mass conservation for the two-phase mixture needs ε + ε = 1.) origin. to get the full information about the ﬂow and concentration ﬁelds. gravity.5. Therefore. one takes either the pure ﬂuid density or the effective mixture density. DN related to heat and mass transport is introduced in Sections 6 and 7. due to (mostly repulsive) interaction forces. Strictly speaking.22) and (5. which very likely will not reduce to simple Newtonian formulation yielding Eu and Re.18) become A brief note is in place. see e.5. Then. When the dispersed phase earns the right to be awarded the full momentum equation? Likely.5. beds.21) is inconsistent with the role of a ‘pure ﬂow follower’. together with the coupling to the hydrodynamics. (5. There is a legitimate question: what is between these two extremes.h.5.23). depending on the relation between the body size and the size and spacing of the dispersed particle in the mixture. the carrying ﬂuid occupies the whole volume. that both can be relevant. (5. Eq.5.g.5.23) can be facilitated by any buoyant agent that behaves like a passive scalar (true solute. This can directly be solved numerically. The other comes from the momentum transfer term S. on the retention time distribution (RTD) in equipments. For microscopic dispersions. If the dispersed phase constitutes a macroscopic dispersion. ﬂuidized.5. volume fraction ε . As the next step.23) (momentum) While a single dispersed particle does not affect the ﬂow. interparticle. The interphase coupling is as follows.23). being one-way coupled with (5. the particles lack these qualities.5. The proper tracer should stick to a ﬂuid particle.s.5. ε = 1.3 Eq.5.5.22) and (5.22)–(5. As for the scaling. it should obey: Dc = 0 (mass) Dt [kg/m3 s].22) v + (v.5. It seems however.5. This simple fact opens an interesting window of research: building analogies between the well-understood single-phase ﬂows with heat and mass transport.5. it is easy to monitor numerically the tracer content at the exit.21)–(5.21) • Continuous phase: ∂ ∂t ∂ ∂t + ∇( v) = 0 (mass) [kg/m3 s]. (5.). They naturally apply also to (5. As for the scaling. (5. a large number of them can exert collective buoyancy effects.19) is modiﬁed accordingly.20) is needless. since the macroscopic particles did not have this molecular transport mechanism. The buoyant coupling from (5.24) 3 But there is a concept of ‘hydrodynamic diffusion’ of macroscopic particles. Probably. very small particles (ﬁne particles suspended in ﬂuid) are moved by forces of both hydrodynamic (Stokes limit) and nonhydrodynamic (Brownian. The true chemical solutions (salt or dye in water) surely belong to this category (sub-colloidal). what effects and on which scales we wish to study. For Newtonian ﬂuid equations. there is a resistance force.17) and (5.20) derived for the macro-dispersed multi-phase mixtures. which is (5.5. there are no strict and unequivocal criteria.∇)c = D∇ 2 c (mass) [kg/m3 s].5. buoyancy. ﬁne particles.

(5.5. e. This makes Eq. since the stream passing through a given location contains particles of various age. (5. use the basic time scaling.26) Fixing the coordinates to the mean ﬂow V deletes the mean convection term and yields ∂c ∂t = Dt ∂2 c ∂x2 [kg/m3 s]. very carefully be checked in slow ﬂows in microchannels. whence the single scalar quantity Dt (also called: axial dispersion Dax ). (V· ) . Eq.5.27): ∂ ∂t +v ∂ ∂x =1 (retention time) [-]. Let us treat the unwanted diffusion term in (5. (mass) (5. and more practical cure.5.5. t) it has spent in the equipment.5. the actual velocity ﬁeld splits into the mean and ﬂuctuating parts.5.27). Another. Dt (turbulent mass diffusion) (5. J = (V· )c. Contrasting all these assumptions with the reality of the actual ﬂows through real technological systems. t). (5. There is wealth of information about the scaling behaviour of turbulent velocity ﬂuctuations in various ﬂow situations. molecular diffusion (Dm ) and turbulent dispersion (Dt ).27) which is diffusion in stagnant medium. keeping the physical meaning of the convective mass ﬂux.26): ∂ ∂t + (V + v ) ∂ ∂x =1 (retention time) [-]. The trivial and seemingly useless physical fact that = t can be recasted into a useful form. but any ﬂuid particle located at time t in place x can be assigned the amount of time (x. with a suitable random v = f (x. Thus solving the above equation for ‘conservation of particle age’. (5. Thus.31) Sufﬁce to require that Dm Dt . j = Dt 2 c.29): Pe + 0 = 1.1). First. Actually. Fixing the coordinates to the mean ﬂow V deletes the mean convection term and yields the following counterpart of (5. Upon the Reynolds decomposition. Fo = L2 (unsteadiness) . we assume that the quantity can be considered to be the ﬁeld quantity. which can even be realistic. we obtain the real ‘distribution’ of the local retention time within the equipment. and the tracer equation is uncoupled from the ﬂow equation. (5. t). Here. being set to zero at entering the equipment. is to assume that the tracer is simultaneously transported by two mechanisms. Because the watch is ﬁxed to the moving ﬂuid particle. it would rather be naive to expect that Pe. This brings us naturally to the stochastic modelling of RTD.29): 1 + 1 = 1/Pe. The mean term.5. to get the full information about the ﬂow and RTD ﬁelds. It is rather counter-intuitive.5. (7. the axial dispersion is zero. (5.5. or left as it is and take a suitable closure for the ﬂuctuating velocity v .5. the numbers are deﬁned using the turbulent diffusivity: Fourier number. there has been an attempt is this direction. we have the following counterpart of (5. Dt T (turbulent mass diffusion) LV (hydrodynamic convection) Peclet number. The convective term in (5. It is the plug ﬂow. (mass) (5.21). is harmless. We are in need of something smarter. The ﬂuctuating term is modelled as the mass ﬂux driven by the turbulent dispersion. (5. Second. Eq. where the crosssection area marked with c0 is carried through the system with the mean speed V. to save the computing power.5. In case of 1D dominant main ﬂow. (5.31) can be treated in a similar way like (5.34) which can be treated within the framework of the stochastic differential equations. At absence of turbulent ﬂuctuations. and by the same scaling Fo becomes Pe. and even if.5. v = 0.25): ∂ ∂t + (V · ∇) + (v · ∇) = 1 (retention time) [-]. (7. Thus. conversion. the equation . v = V + v . we can easily calculate the ﬁeld of concentration. It can be modelled. the time on the watch coincides with the ‘common’ time t on the laboratory clock. by random functions reﬂecting truly the local structure of the turbulence.30) Two ways leads to the exclusivity of the Pe number occurrence in the RTD problems.23). (5. V = V = Q/S. reaction rate.5. Anticipating the scaling applied to Eq.5.32) solves to c = c0 = const. can contain the whole truth about the hydrodynamics. we have the counterpart of (5. (5. Fo = Pe.5.5. It can also be simpliﬁed.21) can be treated as follows.26) becomes the RDT analogue of Eq. at least in some ﬂow situations. in the literature.5.g.5. this is usually not true.5. is the retention time of the ﬂuid particle. Imagine that a ﬂuid particle has a watch that measures its age . and can be solved independently: ∂c ∂t +V ∂c ∂x = Dt ∂2 c ∂x2 [kg/m3 s]. One cure would be the assumption. which corresponds to (5. This is not usually done.29) Here.24).5. is physically plausible. At non-relativistic motions. V + v . This makes Eq. we have V = V = Q/S. its age must follow the convective derivative: D =1 Dt (retention time) [-]. (5. This must. and the equation ∂c ∂t = 0 (mass) [kg/m3 s]. Considering the 1D dominant main ﬂow. with the 1D dominant The mean ‘ﬂux of age’. Eq. Having the ﬁeld (x. (5. ﬁxing the coordinates to the mean ﬂow V deletes the convection term (Pe). together with (5.25) main ﬂow. Pe = . The ﬂuctuating part. and a kind of Smart RTD (SRTD) has been suggested. j = Dts 2 .chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 851 go in practical applications of RTD. that the ﬂow is much faster than the tracer diffusion.5.28) which is already dimensionless. j = J + j . After the decomposition.33) In fully 1D case.4): Fo + Pe = 1. etc. where the mean speed is a constant. however.21) thus reads ∂c ∂t + (V · ∇)c = (Dm + Dt )∇ 2 c (mass) [kg/m3 s]. T = L/V. It can directly be solved numerically. can either be modelled by a turbulent diffusion term. At absence of turbulent ﬂuctuations.5.5. (5. Pe is the only important number in RTD.21) becomes (V· )c + (v · )c. both V and v are scalars.5. Dt = 0.5. and the Fourier number becomes the Peclet number.22) and (5. (v · ) .

V) and the molecular diffusion of heat (heat diffusivity Ä). Gr = ˛ gL3 2 Choosing the variables (Â. since it is dimensionless. Pr.1). Gr and Ra appear naturally by scaling the coupled equations for ﬂow and heat transfer. Dhydro –hydrodynamic diffusivity of bubbles). A modiﬁed version of Pe is the Graetz number. where the convective speed is recasted into the mass ﬂow.1. we get by scaling: + V Ä = 2 L L [ /T]. to get Pe = Re/Ä. Often. Gr = (mass ﬂow)cp / L. The diffusion term is the most typical one for heat and mass transport phenomena. The unsteady and convective effects are then comparable. (6. etc.3) [1/T]. as either Pr and Ra. t). alias the thermal Archimedes number. ﬂuid momentum balance (5. and we get (6. v. Assigning the DN their proper names we get Fo + Pe = 1. T). based on the physical analogy and scaling arguments. (heat diffusion) (6. A close derivative of Gr is the thermal Rayleigh number. This number is decisive for the onset of thermal convection and its evolution via series of bifurcation. they can be obtained correctly. Gr is encountered in thermoﬂuid mechanics. The Prandtl number is prepared as follows.2) (buoyancy force) . The Peclet number facilitates the coupling between the hydrodynamics and heat transfer: it compares the transport by hydrodynamic convection (ﬂow of medium. where all ﬂuid particles in the moving coordinate system have age = t. It is the plug ﬂow.2. Replace the hydrodynamic convection (LV) with the hydrodynamic diffusion ( ) with help of Re. Note that. with rates of transport processes that tend to smear it out (diffusion of momentum and heat Ä). which can be written as ∂Â ∂t + (v · ∇)Â = Ä∇ 2 Â [K/s] (6. Actually. the particles exit at age = t = L/V. With pipe of length L. so it is the natural scaling basis. Give it name the heat Grashof number. as a direct consequence of our choice of scaling. One route leads to the Prandtl number: Prandtl number. from the corresponding governing equations. where the only buoyancy-affected density is that at the external force ﬁeld term ( f). Dividing by the diffusion term (Ä/L2 ). three balances must be considered together: ﬂuid mass balance (5. and the parameters (Ä). it is possible to introduce Ra also for dispersed layers. for bubbly layers in bubbly columns. Pe = LV/Ä. (heat diffusion) (6. This number is often used in thermal processes.1). Ra = Gr Pr: Rayleigh number. ÄT Ä (6. where ˛ is the coefﬁcient of thermal expansion. to get Pe = /Ä. Fo = L2 ÄT LV Peclet number. under a useful approximation (Boussinesq). It is essentially a hydrodynamic number. (viscous force) (6.g. x. Ra = ˛ gL3 Ä (buoyancy force) . (6.8) T Dividing by 1 V Ä + = 2 T L L the temperature scale disappears. .5) The following DN arise. L. Fo = Pe. or Pr and Gr.7) Ä 6. which is typical for heat-driven buoyancy effects: Grashof number. Pr = (momentum diffusion) . where the ratio of two material properties of ﬂuid determines how much the ﬂow is affected by heat diffusion (thermal convection. Replace the general expression for the density difference with a speciﬁc expression for the thermal expansivity of ﬂuid. because of tradition. Transport of heat For the transport of heat in a moving environment. measured in the stationary coordinate. Pe = Ä (unsteadiness) . the numbers appear in different places. the linearization near a uniform base state is considered (stability studies). their scales ( .852 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 becomes ∂ ∂t =1 (retention time) [-] (5. T = L/V. boiling.1) (unsteadiness) + (convection) = (diffusion). mix –effective viscosity of bubbly mixture. we get LV L2 + = 1.3) with the diffusion term. e. Another route leads to the heat Grashof number. This may not always correspond to reality. Pr = Pe/Re. or the uniform part of the density ﬁeld is absorbed in the pressure term.35) and solves to = t. It compares the driving thermal disturbance acting on a parcel of ﬂuid. (heat diffusion) (hydrodynamic convection) .6) When using the basic time scaling. and the heat balance. / =˛ . where the heat enters as the ‘buoyant agent’. but then the DN would not have their usual names. These compositions can contain thermal and hydrodynamic quantities to reﬂect their coupling. both numbers are based on the diffusion rate. having a clear physical meaning in terms of process rates: Fourier number. Take the Peclet number. Ra = g eL3 / mix Dhydro (g – is the reduced gravity. Plug it into Ar to get Ar = (˛ )Ga. which gives the buoyancy term proportional to the density difference = − 0 . (6. This age corresponds to the position x = Vt from the inlet. If we want other combinations.9) (viscous force) We can divide by any term. to produce density gradients. Give the product a new name: the Prandtl number. Since we customarily divided (6. e –volume fraction of bubbles (voidage. gas holdup). we must compose them.5. Depending on the scales employed. V.4) Take the hydrodynamic Archimedes number.). LV = Re. Divide by Re. the Fourier number becomes the Peclet number. Ar = ( / )Ga. For instance. The way the above composite numbers are ‘derived’ by making various combinations and replacements seems to be neither transparent nor free from ambiguity and subjectivity.

Replace the hydrodynamic convection (LV) with the hydrodynamic diffusion ( ) with help of Re. in several variations. to get Pe = Re/D. to the thickness of the thermal boundary layer.1. since it is dimensionless. The diffusion term is the most typical for heat and mass transport phenomena. Taking V = L/T. Another route leads to the mass Grashof number. Sc = (momentum diffusion) . which can be written as ∂c ∂t + (v · ∇)c = D∇ 2 c + r [kg/m3 s] The Schmidt number is prepared as follows. t). One route leads to the Schmidt number: Schmidt number. with help of the empirical heat transfer coefﬁcient kh : jw = kh ( Â)w [J/m2 s]. (6.6). Boundary conditions in heat transfer are of two kinds.10) where is the heat conductivity.1).1) (buoyancy force) . since everyone wants to know how much heat passes through the interface. Gr = ˇ cgL3 2 (unsteadiness) + (convection) = (diffusion) + (reaction). coefﬁcient of dispersion).g. their scales (C. Therefore. to get Pe = /D. and designating /L the scale estimate for (d 0 /dz). When using the basic time scaling. The Peclet number facilitates the coupling between the hydrodynamics and mass transfer: it compares the transport by hydrodynamic convection (ﬂow of the medium. the numbers are based on the diffusion rate. A basic quantity is the buoyant (Brunt–Vaisala) frequency ω of the density difference driven oscillator. where ω = ((g/ )(d 0 /dz))1/2 .5) where ( Â)w is the bulk–boundary temperature difference. we get by scaling: VC DC C + = 2 +R T L L [C/T]. Employing the reduced gravity g → g to account for the density variance. The former case is simple to scale. Either the temperature Â w is given at the boundary ∂˝ or the heat ﬂux jw through it. The latter is given by jw = − (∇Â)w [J/m s]. it is the most desired quantity in the heat transfer. so it is natural to take it as the scaling basis. which is not always the case. the time scale becomes T = L/gT. Assigning the DN their proper names we get Fo + Pe = 1 + Da2 . we get LV RL2 L2 + =1+ . fast-phase changes.11) (reaction) . 2 Choosing the variables (c.3) We can divide by any term. the Fourier number becomes the Peclet number. etc. Transport of mass For the transport of mass of a solute in a moving environment. V) and the molecular diffusion of mass (mass diffusivity D). To calculate the ﬂux. Divide by Re. we get what was due. e. DT D DC (7. (7.12) A simple scaling of (6. we must compose them.).10) and (6. L. without computing the temperature and ﬂow ﬁelds. The unsteady and convective effects are then comparable. ﬂuid momentum balance (5. This number is often used in mass transfer processes.2) by the diffusion term. (mass diffusion) RL2 DC 1/2 (6. Take the Peclet number.11) yields the formula for the coefﬁcient: kh = − (∇Â)w ( Â)w [J/m2 s K]. T = L/V. The length scale L comes from the near-interface temperature gradient in (6. ( )w ∼ 1/L. there are numbers indicating their relative effects (stratiﬁcation parameter. Pe = LV/D.2) Dividing by the diffusion term (DC/L2 ). Equating (6. and should relate. It is an elementary prototype for internal gravity waves in stratiﬁed environments. Burger number). (viscous force) (7. (7. Although Nu does not present any intellectual challenge on the grounds of scaling. LV = Re. where the transport rate is large enough to affect the ﬂow (e. Bi): Nu = kh . because of tradition.10). three balances must be considered together: ﬂuid mass balance (5. T). as a direct consequence of our choice of scaling. /L (6.2. r. when Fr is corrected for buoyancy (apostrophe’).7) . another expression for the ﬂux is introduced. Sc = Pe/Re (also: mass or diffusion Pr).g.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 853 Other numbers are also related to buoyancy effects. V.1). (mass diffusion) (hydrodynamic convection) . If we want other combinations. the temperature ﬁeld must be known. These compositions can contain diffusion and hydrodynamic quantities to reﬂect their coupling. Fo = L2 DT LV Peclet number. and the parameters (D). (d2 z/dt2 ) = ω2 z. Numerous correlations do exist for Nu in the engineering literature. Note that it relates to the Froude number Fr’ = V2 /g L = 1/Ri. Da = (unsteadiness) . Other kinds of Ri also exist.13) which is nothing but the dimensionless heat transfer coefﬁcient. which in terms of frequency ω ∼ 1/T reads ω2 = g/L. v. and the solute mass balance. hence turbulent Schmidt number.12) by ( /L) leads to the Nusselt number Nu (also Biot number. (mass diffusion) (7. Here we can encounter the Richardson number. x. The buoyant frequency also follows from the gravitational time scaling T = V/g in (5. having a clear physical meaning in terms of process rates: Fourier number.2. Since we customarily divided (7. (mass diffusion) (7. which is typical for mass-driven buoyancy effects: Grashof number. Fo = Pe.4) The following DN arise. The gradient Richardson number Ri = ω2 /(∂u/∂z)2 . the viscosity and diffusivity can be not molecular but ‘turbulent’ (eddy viscosity. When both buoyancy (stratiﬁcation) and rotation are present. Â w / . but then the DN would not have their usual names. Give the product a new name: the Schmidt number. (6. boiling.6) D 7. Pe = D Damkohler number. In turbulence. This may not always correspond to reality. (7. The global Richardson number is Ri = g L/V2 . distillation. R.

Solving the corresponding equation in case of a model situation (a cylindrical pore in a catalyst. Ca. Pe) and BC (Nu). Second.854 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 Take the hydrodynamic Archimedes number. to give them better physical interpretation. DN are used for making correlations. Sr) and BC (Bo. A close derivative of Gr is the concentration (salinity. / = ˇ c. Pe) and BC (Sh). the Arrhenius number Ah compares the activation energy and kinetic energy of molecules. There are two main problems encountered. ( )w ∼ 1/L. Replace the general expression for the density difference with a speciﬁc expression for the concentration expansivity of ﬂuid. This number is highly relevant for behaviour of bubbles in liquids. mass) Rayleigh number. When we look at books and review papers on bubble columns. Although Sh does not present any intellectual challenge on the grounds of scaling. Which length scale L is appropriate? The physics strongly recommends the bubble size. Reaction and mass transfer is combined in the Hatta number. For instance. The physical picture is similar like with the thermal Ra: concentrationally buoyant ﬂuid parcel driven by c moves. more/less salty water) and geology (layering in magna chambers). 4.10) yields the formula for the coefﬁcient: km = − D(∇c)w ( c)w [m/s].10) where ( c)w is the bulk–boundary concentration difference. Numerous correlations do exist for Sh in the engineering literature. has application in oceanology (hot/cold. more simple choice c/c0 can also be used. The basic numbers and their link to their closest relatives is shown in Fig. we prefer to relate them to the equations. Regardless of their origin. The procedure of equation scaling can give certain hints what should the proper scales be. a spherical pellet). many important DN were introduced and commented. (7.9) 8. Here. since everyone wants to know how much mass passes through the interface. Boundary conditions in mass transfer are of two kinds. cw /C. the problem with the scales still remains. but this is not always sufﬁcient. Mass Ra is decisive for halinoconvection. etc. the concentration ﬁeld must be known. rate. Either the concentration cw is given at the boundary ∂˝ or the mass ﬂux jw through it. and diffusion of momentum ( ) and mass (D) tend to oppose the motion and to weaken the driving force. The model solution for a pore gives F ∼ tanh(Th)/Th. We. The latter is given by jw = − D(∇c)w [kg/m2 s]. All the numbers obtained by the equation scaling (Section 4) can be reproduced by the dimensional analysis (Section 3). halinoconvection. it is easy to ﬁnd .12) which is nothing but the dimensionless mass transfer coefﬁcient. There also are numbers typical for the reaction kinetics itself. mass transport (Da. which is apparently wrong. Ra = Gr Pr: Rayleigh number. They contain the correct quantities and have a clear meaning—ratio of different effects in terms of common physical quantities (force. double diffusive convection. Plug it into Ar to get Ar = (ˇ c)Ga. time. whose mean value cm normalized by the bulk concentration c0 is the effectiveness factor F = cm /c0 . to produce density gradients. A typical situation occurs in heterogeneous catalysis.g. which is not always the case.11) by (D/L) leads to the Sherwood number Sh (also Sherman number. Ha. It is very difﬁcult to choose them correctly without the sound knowledge of the underlying processes and the physical meaning of the numbers. thermosolutal convection). Re. it is the most desired quantity in the mass transfer. e. The former case is simple to scale. Often. Bo = gL2 / . The basic DN are the following: momentum transport (Eu. alias the diffusion Archimedes number. (viscous force) (7. To calculate the ﬂux.11) In the preceding sections. Give it name the mass Grashof number.g. Fo. However. Here. They can be divided into two classes. We need a complete list of independent numbers. Ma). a ‘generalized’ Th is introduced. Fr. It seems that most of DN in engineering were ﬁrst obtained by DA.8) A simple scaling of (7.). Second. D/L (7. we must know beforehand the relevant physical quantities that should be grouped. which are designed for bubble column reactors. without computing the concentration and ﬂow ﬁelds. interfacial area. The length scale L comes from the near-interface concentration gradient in (7. the basic (primary) DN that follows directly from scaling the balance equations and their BC. or formed by their combinations. Besides the above coupling between diffusion and hydrodynamics via Pe. and should relate. Accordingly. First. which may interfere with the ﬂow (e. It is essentially a hydrodynamic number. there is also coupling between the diffusion and reaction via Da. Ra = ˇ cgL3 D (buoyancy force) . First. (7. L is the pore length and k the rate constant. Both the numbers and the scales must be relevant for the problem. the numbers generated by scaling of equations have a great advantage over those produced by dimensional analysis. Correlations where D is the (mass) diffusivity. the other (secondary) DN that are derived from the basic. Therefore. to choose suitable characteristic scales to evaluate the DN. which. Instead of ˇ c. speed. we obtain the concentration proﬁle. the Damkohler number coincides with the Thiele number. Some choices of scales are apparently wrong.9) and (7. and most of them are listed in Table 2. with help of the empirical mass transfer coefﬁcient km : jw = km ( c)w [kg/m2 s]. where the diffusion and reaction interplay. consider the Bond number. Gr is encountered in ﬂows with ineligible concentration gradients. Both thermal and mass buoyancy effects are present in double diffusive convection. Note that for r = kc. where the Thiele number (modulus) is Th = L(k/D)1/2 .9). Despite this. For instance. However. another expression for the ﬂux is introduced. to the thickness of the concentration boundary layer. to choose suitable DN. or created ‘artiﬁcially’. Equating (7. Ar = ( / )Ga. (7. Here. heat transport (Fo. which also is ∼(mean reaction rate)/(maximum rate). Sm): Sh = km . many authors have been using the bubble column size. it enters numerous correlations for bubble size and speed. where ˇ is the coefﬁcient of concentrational expansion. mass transfer coefﬁcient. to retain the last equality also for reactions of higher orders. besides others. which comes from the normal component of the free-slip boundary condition. Da = Th. where the mass enters as the ‘buoyant agent’.

for instance. 1 cm × 1 m in size. The spectrum of bubbles sizes is quite broad. It is unlikely. consider the Rayleigh number. provided that it is physically based: resolve the processes occurring along different directions. Taking this ﬁgure actually means selecting the picture of a ﬂow through a 99 m dia capillary. stabilizes the layer with respect to the onset of convection. from few microns. the L for a single-phase ﬂow has only been considered. Thus. The product. to few centimetres. the combinations grow. The failure is especially evident in stability considerations. where we correctly discriminate between the inertial ( ) and viscous ( ) scales for length and speed. If not. However. that this mistake occurs in a great number of correlation formulas published over more than 30 years. At the wall. obtained by combining several simple numbers with clear physical meaning. the critical value of Ra is different for rectangular and circular ﬁnite containers. the buoyant rise is vertical. For instance.g. H2 A. leads to nowhere. This situation is known as the ﬂow through the Helle–Shaw cell. say.000) seems to be the hydraulic radius 2AB/(A + B) = 99 m. be Ga = Re2 /Fr = {( V 2 /L )/( V /L 2 )}2 /{( V 2 /L )/( g)}. as they coalesce. Imagine how they would work. Which one is correct? Finally. which is far from being related to any possible view at our ﬂow situation. The stability issues are very sensitive to the proper choice of scales. This situation is known as the Poiseuille ﬂow.9). This situation corresponds to the development of boundary layers in a rectangular channel. and the heat and momentum diffusion is horizontal. The choice L = B means the top view at a segment of the channel. What length scale should then be chosen for the ﬂow correlations? One way around this severe anisometry (1:100:10. both H and A may be chosen. The choice L = A means the side view at the channel. the argument of ‘importance’ may work. some of them even became the classics. These correlations are used for designing factories and plants. We see the ﬂow between two virtually inﬁnite parallel horizontal planes. the obvious choice is L = H. we can select the view of the world. we combine two numbers. when they share the same scales. imagine a two-phase ﬂow in a long thin electrolysing microchannel of size A × B × C = 100 m × 10 mm × 1 m. Thus. simply because A > H. different ﬂow proﬁles along different directions are relevant. ﬁnd their interrelation. which. For instance. as they are formed. and in effect. Note large diversity both in names and notation of dimensionless numbers in literature. that the same choice of scales applies equally well to convection in inﬁnite horizontal layer and in thin vertical slots.2. enough to tease them is to ask for introducing the correct Re for a bubble column. when the layer is inside a ﬁnite container A × B × H. We can resort to the (rather subjective) argument of ‘importance’. By selecting the scales. however. Ra = ˛ gL3 / Ä ∼ L3 . Even with the . etc. and they work well. to compose Ga. generated by the same governing equation (5. The point is to choose the proper length scale and to deﬁne Re for making correlation formulas designed for the operational quantities (e.1).chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 855 Table 2 – List of dimensionless numbers Archimedes number Bagnold number Biot number Bodenstein number Bond number* Capillary number* Cauchy number Cavitation number Damkohler number* Dean number Deborah number Eckert number Ekman number Eotvos number Euler number* Fourier number* Fourier number* Froude number* Galileo number Grashof number Grashof number Knudsen number Laplace number Lewis number Ljascenko number Mach number Marangoni number* Morton number Nusselt number* Peclet number* Peclet number* Prandtl number Rayleigh number Rayleigh number Rayleigh number Reynolds number* Richardson number Rossby number Schmidt number Sherwood number* Stanton number Stanton number Stokes number Strouhal number* ˇ ´ Sebestova number Thiele number Weber number* Ar = ( / )gL3 / 2 (=( / )Ga) Ba = p L2 / Bi = Nu Bd = VL/Dax Bo = ( ) gL2 / (=We/Fr) Ca = V/ Ch = V2 /E (=Mc2 ) Cv = P/ V2 Da = (RL2 /DC)1/2 Dn = Re(rpipe /rcurv. In case of a layer conﬁned also by two lateral walls separated by distance A. Fr and Re. we can think that the smallest dimension is the most important. which are narrow and 1-m long. HA2 . Some choices of scales are even more ambiguous. The choice L = C means the global view at the channel. wall shear. of the same size. The presence of walls reduces the spectrum of possible wavenumbers (modes) substantially. for a natural convection in a horizontal ﬂuid layer heated from below. The case with the bubbles is left as a homework for students. For instance. if the correlations would be correct. It is acceptable. We see the ﬂow between two ﬁnite parallel plates. In case of convection. the critical value of Ra depends on both H and A. Some choices of scales are ambiguous. For instance. pressure drop. there are several possibilities. L3 → H3 . to the ﬁrst approximation. In correlations. and assess their relevance in a given situation. the composed numbers are often used. Therefore. such an equipment is not unusual. bubble size and concentration. liquid ﬂow. taking L = H3 and ignoring the lateral walls at a thin layer. Those used here are by no means the best or obligatory. So far. In these cases. We see the ﬂow between two ﬁnite and closely spaced walls. )1/2 De = Tr /Tf Ec = V2 /cp Ek = /˝L2 Eo = Bo Eu = P/ V2 Fo = L2 /ÄT (heat) Fo = L2 /DT (mass) Fr = V2 /gL Ga = gL3 / 2 (=Re2 /Fr) Gr = ˛ gL3 / 2 (heat) Gr = ˇ C gL3 / 2 (mass) Kn = Lmolec /Ldomain La = P/( /L) (=Eu We) Le = Ä/D (=Sc/Pr) Ly = ( / )(V3 /g ) (=Re3 /Ar) Mc = V/Vsound Ma = / V Mo = g 4 / 2 3 (=We3 /Fr Re4 ) Nu = kheat /( /L) Pe = LV/Ä (heat) Pe = LV/D (mass) Pr = Peheat /Re = /Ä Ra = ˛ gL3 / Ä (heat) (=Gr Pr) Ra = ˇ C gL3 / D (mass) (=Gr Sc) Ra = g eL3 / mix Dhydro (dispersion) Re = LV/ = LV/ Ri = ( / )(gL/V2 ) (=( / )/Fr) Ro = V/˝L Sc = /D (=Pemass /Re) Sh = kmass /(L/D) Sn = (kheat /V)(Ä/ ) (heat) (=Nu/Peheat ) Sn = kmass /V (mass) (=Sh/Pemass ) St = p LV/ Sr = L/TV ˇ Se = 1/Mc Th = L(kreac /D)1/2 We = ( ) LV2 / Basic numbers are marked by an asterisk (*) ( ) means or . there are electrodes and bubbles are produced by electrolysis. can have no clear meaning. What can safely be combined? In (5. gives a wrong result. then Ga would.).2. We suffer from the presence of more that one candidate for the length scale. In case of inﬁnite layer of height H. 100 m apart. In these days of the scale-down boom. A3 . however.

far from the expected (viscosity)·(gravity). we have: (vg/vg) = DNU. at the usual ignoring of powers. where the group (g V) is not very transparent. viscosity/capillarity.856 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 Fig. La = Eu We. which becomes (gv (gv)/(ci). This means that the physical meaning of the combination equals ‘unity’. but where is the physics? Actually. heat.23 ? There can be combinations of numbers belonging to different physical contexts. the combination Re Fr Eu2 is equal to P2 /g V. etc. the combination Eu2 Re Fr would usually be interpreted as (pressure)/(viscosity)·(gravity). mass) and boundary conditions. Stanton (Margoulis) number Sn = Nu/Peheat or Sh/Pemass ). With the viscous (p ∼ v) and gravitational (p ∼ g) scaling for pressure. or only comparison of analogous material properties (Pr = Peheat /Re = /Ä. but hardly applies to a free rise of a bubble in a col- . Mo = We3 /Fr Re4 .7). which is in a variance with the usual interpretation (gravity)/(viscosity). These manipulations are formally correct. where the powers are ignored. Only after unravelling it. v – viscosity. The Morton number is often used in bubbly research. uniscale (L = L = L ). Sc = Pemass /Re = /D. we can recognized the gravitational and viscous scaling for P. it becomes: (p/i) · (p/i) · (i/v) · (i/g) = (p/v) · (p/g) = p2 /vg. which sometimes. the dimensionless number unity (DNU). g – gravity. since the physical meanings of the individual numbers ‘cancel’. which can express their coupling (Pr = Pe/Re. Ga actually is {(inertia)/(viscosity)}2 /{(inertia)/(gravity)} = (inertia)·(gravity)/(viscosity)2 . since their dimension equals unity [1]. we encounter the problem of DN algebra. 4 – Flow-chart of scaling governing equations (momentum. Td = Re Mo0. Which one is correct? How then to interpret the Tadaki number.2. belong together (Bo = We/Fr. Upon inserting the physical meanings. p – pressure). Can we ignore them? This dubious algebra is also encountered when we try to eliminate (speed from Fr using Re) or separate (speed and size in sedimentation using Ly) some inconvenient quantities. There are combinations of numbers originating from different governing equations. Ra = Gr Pr). fortunately. There are combinations of numbers coming from equations and boundary conditions. Mo is interpreted as capillarity/buoyancy. Le = Sc/Pr = Ä/D). in brief notation (i – inertia. in brief notation (c – capillarity). g V = (g L)·( V/L). For instance. we can create any thinkable combination of DN. In this spirit. A closer look 3 4 reveals that the physical meaning is: Mo = (i/c) /(i/g) · (i/v) = 4 )/(c3 i2 ). In literature. see (5. Why not to eliminate the speed from Fr by the Mach number? Ga = Mc2 /Fr thus obtained is formally correct.

1998. These are useful for familiarizing with the many aspects of this powerful method.2. Porter. Weast and Astle. and their origin and physical compatibility should be kept in mind. 1964. Second. 1963. First. Dolezalik. Rozen and Kostanyan. civil. 2000. 1998. the onset of thermal convection does not occur exactly at Ra = 1. Transport phenomena). Conclude that building sensible and reliable correlations is far from being trivial. Land. 1971. Palacios. It is tempting to say that inertia dominates when Re > 1. 1959. both single-phase and multiphase (Section 5). Clement-O’Brien and Lawler. Books on DA): Baker et al. Becker. Ipsen. where n ≈ 3–4 for pipes. A long list of various DN is available. 1947. Besides the books. the big equipments are typically ∼101 m in size.. Cengel and Cimbala. 2002. Sandler. Jerrard and McNeill. In the ﬁrst part of the Reference section (1. Its value also depends on the choice of scales. 1963). i.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 857 umn. 2003) is especially suitable for students. Stephens and Dunbar. Stubbings. The important concept of ‘similarity solution’ to spatio-temporal problems lacking explicit length scales is treated. Wesson. 9. this topic is covered in many texts on partial differential equations. but at Ra ∼ 102 to 103 (depending on BC. Bird et al. 1972. 2006. geology. Zlokarnik. This ﬁeld is close to the author. The ﬂow in microchannels is not completely free molecular at Kn > 1 and no-slip continuous at Kn < 1. etc.1. Duncan. In the second part of the Reference section. Jerrard and McNeill (1992). and varies in a wide range for ﬂow past different bodies. The importance of surface phenomena. and. mechanical. Hornung. 1964.g. Sedov. Craig. 1975. Choosing these scales is problematic due to our (either intentional or not) ignorance of the underlying physics. 1953. 1957. 1992. Scale-up and design of technologies is based on scaling consideration and active use of DA in a variety of particular situations. The scale-up is in certain respect easier than the scale-down. i. one must also choose the proper characteristic scales.e. 2003. Most space in this paper is devoted to the momentum transport. There are no strict rules what can be combined and what cannot. Szirtes. Crank. it is better to say ‘small’ and ‘large’ Re. but the recommended ﬁgure is about 0. and Temam (2001). and for inspiration (biology. Books on scale-up): Euzen et al. ecology. 1974. 1998. They represent two limits of the spectrum. The engineering books are well-known to our community (e. Vogel. Kozesnik. there are almost no references to the literature through the previous chapters. Gukhman. Therefore.3. They form the very core of the chemical engineering and are in all texts of this sector. Cheng and Cheng. Barenblatt. 1974. The ﬁrst choose simple problems and solve them completely on the fundamental level. The local standard textbook by Mika (1981) was used for the equations and some basic scaling. there are books fully devoted to DA and the related problems like similarity and modelling (1. 1972. 1993. 1956. 1959. so only the others are mentioned. Two book chapters are also included. 1914. Slattery. Kline.g. when used. 1960. Taylor. 1974. the ﬂuid dynamics. 1989. which can be solved only approximately. 1915. cosmology. Deen. Grassmann..e. 1955. The uneasy concept of the intermediate asymptotics. in brief. 1959. The references relate to both the area of the chemical engineering and also other research areas. more than 6 orders beyond our everyday experience.3.). some quantities or effects are often neglected. Rohsenov and Choi. 2006. In correlations. e. 1998. Considering the lab scale ∼1 m. It is however not completely right. For the last. There are several groups of authors writing about ﬂuid mechanics. 1980. 1971. 1981. and the comments on the main information sources are lumped into this part. There also are possible numerical factors missing in this formula. so it is needles to list them all. nuclear. 2003. 1960. Stichlmair. the roughest assessment we can have. Kurth. Schuring. variation within one order only. several references on scale-up are also presented (1. 1953. White. according to their background: pure and applied mathematicians. Sjoberg. The microtechnology goes down to sub-micron ranges. 2003.g. Zlokarnik. Munson et al. with the practicality on one side. the balance equations for the transport phenomena are presented (2. Loebel. Support for this suggestion comes from the following. metallurgy.). Aris. 1971. 1984. 1999). Johnson (1998) and Weast and Astle (1981). Doering and Gibbon (1995). Massey. as well as with its historical development and many practical examples of its use. 1961. 1967. Bluman and Cole. Johnstone and Thring. medicine. is not surprising. 1998. The topic of DA and scaling is the ﬁrm ground of the chemical engineering literacy. Carslaw and Jaeger. urban.g. Prothero. to broaden the horizon. 1973. Perry and Chilton. Thomson. e. 2000. 2002. Skoglund. in Bluman and Cole (1974). e. 1977. 1996. The chance that new phenomena will be encountered along this way is very high. Gunther and Morgado. and the deep theoretical footing on the other. but at about Kn > 101 and Kn < 10−2 say. 1950. Langhaar. is strongly presented in the book of Barenblatt (1996). Accordingly. 1987. Macagno. 1991. which is based on the original Russian edition from the seventies. instead of Re < 1 and Re > 1. 1993. Boucher and Alves. One from the Perry’s canonical handbook. Care should be taken when combining different numbers. 1973. 1946. Zierep. in Boucher and Alves (1959. 2006. this number is only a scale estimate of two forces. 5–6 for ﬂat plate. De Jong. A more theoretically minded reader may wish to consult. Land (1972). Lykoudis. 1965. Bridgman. Massey. mining. The laminar–turbulent (viscous–inertial) transition occurs not exactly at Re = 1. Welty et al. economy. 1975. 2002. Sohr (2001). West. etc. 1997. 1967. 1986. Compressibility effects are encountered not exactly at Mc = 1.g. Gunther. 1976. 1948. Articles on DA): Astarita. physicists and engineers (chemical. hence surface sciences. 1997. and also underlines the remaining two transport processes of heat and mass. reﬂecting the tuning of Re for a particular ﬂow situation. Focken. 1972. 1990. and common physical sense is highly welcome when making these combinations. Klinkenberg. Birkhoff. 1983. 1969). Cussler. 2005.. psychology). Curren.e. there is a selection of articles on DA and its applications (1. Remark on literature In sake of the text cohesion. Murphy. 1970. There is a selection of sources that relates to this paper. and the other from the Birkhoff (1960) classical account on ﬂuid mechanics. 1951. presence of processes operating in different spatial directions. but at about Re ∼ 10n . 1990. The common RTD treatment is pre- .. 2004. Wilkes. environmental. 1971. Isaacson and Isaacson. 1952. Dodds and Rothman. Huntley. 1965. and several other books were also consulted (e. 1922. Besides choosing the proper dimensionless numbers. complex problems are chosen. Its simpliﬁed version (Barenblatt. Buckingham.. 1987. Dimensional analysis). this number stands in the ﬂow equation at a dimensionless term that is ∼O(1) but not exactly = 1. as being ‘small’. which transcends the traditional DA. and multiscale nature of the system. Likewise. 1969. 1965. i. Pankhurst. Slavicek.

2005. 2005. reﬂecting the state-of-the-art in this inﬂating area. 1974. In biology. Thompson. The corresponding very important numbers (Bo. 2005. e. 1974. 2003. Forterre and Pouliquen. depending on a dimensionless parameter (Ruzicka. With curiosities. On the other hand.858 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 sented in many standard books (e. 1942. Ishii and Hibiki.b). 2002. known as hydraulic diameter. 2000.5. 1988. or as a result of DA (again lacking the physical meaning). Karniadakis and Beskok. 1993). with its own bibliography. 1998. Other sources were also consulted for speciﬁc areas (Friedlander. 1974) as well as recent textbooks (Macosko. McMahon and Bonner. 2005. Thompson and Troian. Nguyen and Schulze.g. 2005). 2008.. (1997). Glimm and Sharp. The pressure from the micro-needs pushes engineers into these dangerous waters. There are only several titles currently available in this growing area (e. several important particular areas are covered in very brief (3. Brennen. and functions are most appealing. (1997) was used. 1997.2. 1985. since the term ‘population’ has strong biological connotation. 1992). In engineering. de Gennes et al. The effect of ‘rareﬁcation’ of gases and ‘granulation’ of liquids needs the adequate description. Taylor. 2006. Biology and biosystems). Ca. Lowry. Therefore. 2003. Hessel et al. Nedderman. 1994). Buoyancy effects in ﬂuids are omnipresent and are covered by several texts. Morrison. 2008. Kleinstreurer. but not only there. 1979. Pilbeam and Gould. 2004. thoughts of hierarchy of scales. which deals with a single bubble rise in a contaminated liquid. Neto et al. Equations of vorticity and enstrophy are often used in turbulence (Davidson. Moffat. We) are usually presented either without any comment on their origin (hence physical meaning). 1968. 1994. as a unique and highly speciﬁc state of matter (Duran. Churchill. 1990. 2004. this is not always the case. Koschmieder. few references to the surface aspects are mentioned (3. Instructive is the paper by Cuenot et al. Multiscale science and hierarchy): Bergmann. It is not easy to ﬁnd a general and accessible and physically sound book on multi-phase ﬂow (if any). Presently. 2002. 2000. Few books relate to the stability issue. compressible and rareﬁed ﬂows are commonly encountered. Adamczyk. structures. Fawcett. nor included in the books on hydrodynamics. Other topics).. where the assistance was obtained from. 2006. see also Pedlosky. which are our traditional arms. Levenspiel. The scaling concept is well known for biologists. which were used for preparing Appendix C: Berthier and Silberzan. Microtechnology surely deserves a little section of references (3. .3. Maynard. 1981. The exciting area of granular ﬂow and powder technology is a traditional part of engineering (e. The important issue is to formulate the stress tensor and the interphase interaction force. and were employed at writing about these topics. 2002—suitable for students). 1942.. 2004. steady and stable. Imrie. the hydrodynamic stability is usually neither taught in courses. and is mentioned only informatively (Chandrasekhar.. and multi-phase Ra discussed (Ruzicka and Thomas. The concept of Ba number is useful in granular ﬂows. DA and SE on microscale are considered. However. Bruus. Henle. by Ghirelli and Leckner (2004). Pope. Koplik and Banavar. 2004.. Perthame. Karniadakis et al. Marin. which is difﬁcult but important (e. 1992. Few items were therefore selected. Li and Kwauk. Pattee. Bloom.g. Comenius. (1989) is a suitable introduction into the ﬁeld (De number included). Simon. Stickel and Powel. where the (volume/area) seems to be a more relevant parameter than the usual (area/perimeter). In the third part of the Reference section. 2008). Vogel..g. Surfaces and surfactants): Adamson.. 2004. 2004. Furusawa and Kaneko. This leads to investigation of the microstructure of dispersions. 2000. 1943). Gad-el-Hak. and the idea behind Mc and Kn is familiar to engineers (many books exist on gas dynamics). together with that by Edwards et al. Macroscopic effects of a surfactant on real bubbly mixtures are demonstrated too (e. 1992) with deep roots in soil mechanics (e. Slattery et al. Ramkrishna. 2005. 1956.1.. 2005. 1948. Rheology is a vast area. see also the periodical “Microﬂuid Nanoﬂuid” and others. chapter 2). Sewell. There are profound texts where dimensional aspect are treated on the fundamental level (Astarita and Marrucci. 1973. 1995. 1992. 2002. Brown and Richards. 1996a.. 2006. 1970. Hinrichsen and Wolf. 2000.g. 1981. 2006. A set of reviews on the present state of several important branches of ﬂuid mechanics is also included (Batchelor et al. 1962). the water-walking miracle of the Basiliscus lizards is also presented (Glasheen and McMahon. A suitable ‘effective’ density should be used to evaluate correctly the Archimedes force acting on a body immersed in dispersion. 2004. Magnetohydrodynamics is not a usual part of our curriculum. Hoover and Hoover. 1965. These are useful for multi-phase ﬂows as well as for microﬂows. Frisch. 2003). 2000. related to the material presented in Appendix C: McMahon. Several links to biological systems are also offered (3. Terzaghi. Analogy between buoyancy effects in single-phase and multi-phase systems has also been pointed out. Soo. Childress. may be near-useless. Mo.. Crowe et al. The phenomenon of ‘interface’ becomes increasingly important nowadays. Madou. 2006. Israelachvili. Brady and Bossis. 1944.g. 2002. They are valuable sources of information. 2004. 1997. 1999. The rotational effects are presented by geophysically minded authors (Kundu. Tabeling. The smart variant of RTD is presented. We tend to assume that things are mean. 1983. 1943. which may be surprising for engineers. 2000). 1998. Nopens and Biggs. where long-term everyday experience and intuition. it witnesses a great boom after being ‘discovered’ by physicists. e. Cadogan. Kolev. Li and Ge. where gas/molecular dynamics and stochastic processes are the vital ingredients. 1657. Ehrfeld et al. Nguyen and Wereley. Ruzicka et al. Kockmann. 2001). Pedley. by Ramkrishna (2000).g.g. 2004. Rarely is found a title with proper and transparent treatment of the interface boundary conditions within the engineering literature. van Kampen. (1991). The population balance modelling is also included into this short section.g. 2004). Hinds. Microﬂows and microsystems). 1984. Calder. 2005. Krantz. 2008).g. Chandrasekhar. The problems come with strong multiple interactions in dense suspensions (e. Many penetrating perceptions of the early times were later physically based and formalized. for the engineer to gain the inspiration from the philosophers. 1997. 1990). Tritton. 1995. where Ma and other DN play important roles. Eo. 1973. Garnett. Education) is devoted to the pedagogical aspects of DA and relates directly to Appendix B: Andrews. Stone et al. 1984. The book by Sadhal et al.g. Drazin and Reid. Self-similar aspects of these models are treated. 1998. 2000).g. 2007. Hjortso. since we want have them like this in applications. 1977. 2006). 1988. 1982). and to combine it with the rigour of the physicists (3. in Kockmann (2006. Li. Drazin. Davies and Rideal. owing to the progressive scale-down. e. namely the thermal convection (Turner. easier to perform in the dilute viscous limit. 2000). 1961. since the vorticity is a subject of its own importance (Saffman.4. 1960. 1963. 2000. There is a wealth of literature on motion of animals in ﬂuids (e. 1961. The book by Barnes et al. Ma. The last subsection (3. 1999.

Two sources of these numbers are considered. The presentation is intermediate-precise. . Appendix A. which is in all of them. by GAAV (grant nos. Fig. They are all basically right.1. Acknowledgements The author will highly acknowledge the reader’s forbearance in case of possible mistakes. unaffected by geometrical constraints. Sides. depends on the physical nature of the problem and on the type of the physical quantities involved.2. A1. 104/07/1110). errors and shortcomings that may occur in this text (like in any other one). Motivation example Vaguely speaking. DA is able to cope with a single regime only. a physicist would say that there is no force to make it non-circular and. at the same time. they gradually obtain the natural circular shape. 104/06/1418. Let the surface waves be generated at the centre. Whether DA can really do so.2 of the main text.1. aspects of IA are mentioned. Conclusions A brief guided tour through the ﬁeld of scaling and dimensionless numbers is presented. u = f(a1. . IAA200720801). turbed by either boundary. The mutual relations between different numbers are highlighted. The ﬁnancial support by GACR (grant nos. see Fig. without claim of generality and exhaustiveness. DA may be able to describe certain rough aspects of the intermediate stage.. This happens at the intermediate distance between the container centre and container wall (phase I). 1994. 2003)..4 being undis- A. and constructive criticism that could help him to produce something much better in the future. B) correspond to three different regimes of the system behaviour. This meaning must be kept in mind when using the numbers and the scales they involve for making empirical correlations. I. less precise than it should be for its physical correctness and mathematical rigour. KONTAKT ME 952) and by AVCR-CNRS (grant no. Only few. In this sense. and will sincerely appreciate comments. DA applies to problems having the complete similarity. as pointed out in Section 3. the dimensional analysis and the scaling of governing equations with their boundary conditions. . heat.m ) can be converted using DA into the dimen- 4 Why the ‘circular shape’ is natural? A mathematician would say because of the symmetry reason. Circular wave is intermediate asymptotic (IA). where different effects. A1 – Demonstration of IA. Concept of intermediate asymptotics This appendix is to offer the reader a brief exposure of the concept of the intermediate asymptotics (IA).k . which cannot be obtained by DA. suggestions. by the past and future. even if.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 859 Krathwohl et al. and mass transport is shown in Fig. hence variables. The easiest is the intermediate regime (IA) where besides the physics. Marzano and Kendall. the circles turn into rectangles. 2006. the intermediate asymptotic is a time–space dependent solution of an evolution equation that already forgot its initial conditions. with some demonstrative examples by the author (see ﬁgures). the waves are triangular since they bear the ﬁngerprint of the initial condition. with respect to their use in chemical engineering. Consider a body of a still water in a rectangular tank. but still does not feel the limitations imposed by the system boundary or by extinguishing its internal dynamics. As the waves begin to feel the container walls. 11-20213) is gratefully acknowledged. 1964. Two kinds of similarity A. A ﬂow-chart of numbers closely related to the basic equations for momentum. Shape of wave (dotted line): triangular (phase G) → circular (phase I) → rectangular (phase B). The numbers are listed in Table 2. Complete similarity (CS) The relation between the master quantity and the variables. Wave moves from generator to boundary. There can be a solution in form of IA. As they propagate outwards. The text is based on the two books by Barenblatt (1996. 10. Near the centre. IAAX00130702. The three stages (G. the circle is a stable conﬁguration. The apparent advantage of the equation scaling is twofold: (i) we know the relevant physical quantities and (ii) the numbers thus obtained have clear physical meaning.. Morrison and Morrison. Surface wave generated by vibration of triangular element on surface of originally still liquid conﬁned in rectangular container (top view). so far. . the shape of the generator (phase G). by an oscillating triangular element. in the sense that it is more precise than a popular text aimed at the common public. the concept of IA transcends the concept of DA. A. come to play. b1. 2002..2. by MSMT CR (grant no. by providing scale estimates of some main features of the circular waves. to accommodate to the shape of the boundary (phase B). The solution describing the ‘happy circles’ is the intermediate asymptotic (IA) of the system: demonstration of pure physics.. a chemical engineer would argue that one has seen only circles. hopefully typical. . and. no additional variables are present to account for the geometry of wave generator and the container boundary. 4.

problems with distributed parameters. Incomplete similarity (IS) If ˚ behaves badly. e. ˘m ). .6) obtained by DA can be written as u =F U x .g. too small and too large terms are omitted. namely the term ˘ m . Less often are studied evolution problems in space and time.3.2) represents the ﬁnal result produced by DA. and in models we use to describe them. Putting (A. Namely this holds for the scaling of the master quantity (A. In the simple case of (A. (A. in a certain intermediate range. . in principle. . These applications typically describe steady states of complex processes. ˘2 .3).2).8) into the original governing equation. it may be possible to take some Pi-terms out of ˚. (A. .4) are formally similar. yet more widespread.m ˘ = (˘h+1 · · ·˘m )˚2 . or the similarity of the second kind of the phenomenon in the extracted variables (h + 1.3) which can brieﬂy be written as ∗ ∗ ∗ ˘ ∗ = ˚2 (˘1 .h+1 ˛. without further justiﬁcations. ˘2 . ˘h<m ) (incomplete similarity). (A. where the dimensionless parameter ϕ typically contains information about the initial stage of the process. Two kinds of self-similarity In many cases.4) The number of arguments of ˚ is reduced at the price of the power-law factors and several unknown exponents (˛n . But even here a simpliﬁcation can exist.860 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 sionless form: ˘ = ˚(˘1 . the consequence of the presence of some special properties of the problem under study. . If our problem possesses certain special features. The eigenvalue depends on the exponents of IS (˛n . h + 2. It should be attacked directly. . (A. .5) ˛ ˘ = ˘m ˚2 (˘1 . The neglection is permitted only when ˚ tends fast enough a ﬁnite non-zero limit.1 ˘h+1 · · ·˘m ˇ. . ın ). They are the scale estimates for the spatial coordinate x and the master quantity u(x. They inﬂuence the problem regardless how small or big they are.h ı. . we get a simpliﬁed equation that solves for the function F( ). we may expect that the typical case will be the lack of similarity where no further simpliﬁcation of (A. .2. . Consider a problem described by a complicated governing equation for function u = u(x. t) that ensure the geometrical similarity of the spatial proﬁle of u. t). as the power-law factors. On the other hand. ˘m−1 . but only the incomplete similarity. In reality. via experiments.. admit self-similar (similarity) solutions. They must be found by some other means. . DA ﬁnishes here and delivers the scaling law u ∼ U.. A rule of thumb says: The ‘better’ the property. .˘ X i (self-similar ansatz for IS). Then it is possible to replace ˚ with another function of less variables representing the limit of ˚: ˘ = ˚1 (˘1 .1) where we want to reduce the number of variables by neglecting some Pi-terms.. ˘m ) (output of DA). which can be re-written as u = U · ˚(˘1 . The latter witnesses the generalized homogeneity of the nondimensional function ˚ itself. . provided that the ˘ i -terms do not interfere. .7) into the original governing equation. It seems to be difﬁcult being more quantitative where N is a nonlinear operator. A. .).6) Since ˚ is usually not known beforehand. . . (A. The following two special cases of (A. numerical calculations. ˘2 . by numerical solution of the full model. ˘h ˇ. even IS is still a rather exceptional property. Because the similarity solution holds only in the intermediate range where the problem lack internal length scales. at least an a posteriori check is in order.1) to (A.7) ˛. ˘2 . When our problem has not the complete similarity. the rarer it occurs. m). The solution typically leads to the nonlinear eigenvalue problem (NEP) for the function F: N(F) − F = 0 (nonlinear eigenvalue problem). . and is called the self-similar solution of the ﬁrst kind. . the condition for CS is not satisﬁed and the Pi-terms cannot be neglected.1 In most of our applications. ˘ i ) is the exact solution to the simpliﬁed equation. m). These variables for problems with complete similarity can be found by DA. . A. h + 2. the behaviour of ˚ in the limit of ˘ i → 0 or ∞ must be investigated.2) about the distribution of special properties within the natural phenomena we observe. .h ˘h+1 · · ·˘m . ˇn . The solution u/U = F( . Correctly. ˇn . The scaling law (A. Such a case is called the incomplete similarity (IS). or approximate analytical techniques. The former witnesses the generalized homogeneity of the dimensional function f. Although (A.2) becomes ˘1 ı. or the similarity of the ﬁrst kind of the phenomenon in the neglected variables (h + 1. nonlinear differen- . Usually. . this is a rare situation and a worse case is encountered. by experiments. it represents IA of the original problem. (A. we have u = ϕ˛ F U x . . . ˘m−1 ). Note that IS is a much weaker quality than CS. (A. Often. which stems from the variable bm .8) ˘1 ˘m ˇ . where is the single compound variable. (A. Putting (A.2. .1) is possible. (A. The tuning function ˚ is then obtained by measurements.2) and (A. the similarity variables must be produced by means other than DA.9) where only one small or large Pi-term spoils the complete similarity. (A. which is a lucky coincidence. Neither the extracted variables nor the exponents in (A. (A. time–space averaged problems with lumped parameters..˘ X i (self-similar ansatz for CS). which is a consequence of the general physical covariance principle (the platform on which DA operates). (A. . we get a simpliﬁed equation whose solution is called the self-similar solution of the second kind. . x/X. in complex geometries. . Certain class of problems.3) can be obtained by DA. The case where we can go from (A..5).. . there is a substantial difference. Consequently. . in terms of self-similar variables. .3) can be met: ˛ ˘ = ˘m ˚2 where X(t) and U(t) are the self-similar variables.2) is called the complete similarity (CS). In this case.. ˘2 . . ˘h<m ) (complete similarity). . ˘2 .

A4. It is an approximate solution to a complex problem. a kind of universal behaviour that many systems of different origin can produce. The qualitative methods for nonlinear systems can be used. Beyond IA? There may exist even a weaker type of similarity than IS. Phenomena fall into two classes: AI and IA. u ∼ U. IA and the group that reﬂects the actual degree of symmetry in the problem are equivalent.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 861 Fig. CS: complete similarity. for which the solution does exist. It can be represented by the self-similar solution. 2003). IA is a general concept. Relation between DA and IA DA is a simple effective method for ﬁnding the rough scale estimate of a master quantity. With governing equations (GE). Right branch deals with ‘idealized’ problem.4. By complete similarity (CS). and can be interpreted as the Fig. Real process with three stages: initial generation (G). A. valid in a certain range. DA: dimensional analysis. Incomplete similarity (IS) is encountered and self-similar solution (second kind) is obtained by nonlinear eigenvalue problem (NEP) (based on Barenblatt. A4 – Nesting of similarity concepts. IS: incomplete similarity. A3. 1987. The ﬂow-chart summary is given in Fig. Left branch deals with ‘realistic’ problem. valid in the whole range. Self-similar solution for simpliﬁed problem is in whole range and exact. IA: intermediate asymptotic. 1996. the important role of the renormalization group is a little surprise. If the notion of IA is anchored in the fact that the weakest similarity that IA can bear is IS. Fig. with more boundary conditions than is due (overdetermination). If the opposite is true. It is a spatio-temporal phenomenon.g. With such a deﬁnition. A3 – Relation between self-similar solution and IA. Such a special value of is seeked. further division is possible. Due to the overdetermination. separatrix line). the opposite may be true owing to the terminology reasons. there is no room for anything else. see the grey zone in Fig. tial equations must be solved. intermediate stage (I). variables are fewer and similarity law is obtained. the insolubility of the IS problem in terms of the self-similar solution of the second kind is equivalent to the indeterminacy of the group. the solution can correspond a singular objects (e. A. where problematic variables are neglected. in problems having the complete similarity. A2. for real problem it is approximation in intermediate range. the grey zone shrinks to zero. see Fig. A2 – Guidance for application of DA and similarity analysis. Consequently. A4. Paradoxically.5. at least in the intuitive sense. Within IA. Since the nondimensionalization and scaling means changing the norm of the measuring units (etalons). existing within a certain intermediate range of the independent variables. self-similar solution (ﬁrst kind) can be found. . AI: absence of intermediateness. in the solutions to the general evolution problems on intermediate ranges of time and space (or even more sophisticated variables) that will be sufﬁcient to earn the status of IA. Such a deﬁnition ﬁnds its support in the fact that the concept of similarity is equivalent to the invariance of the governing equations with respect to certain groups of transformations (symmetry). This estimate can be used for constructing the self-similar variables. ﬁnal stage affected by boundary (B). which is the exact solution to a simpliﬁed problem. Dimensionless formulation follows from DA. The action radius of the abovediscussed concepts is shown in the diagram in Fig. and the phase portrait of the problem can be analysed.

As an example. IA behaviour is expected. and future. The ﬁrst shows the natural cycle of a culture or civilization. the physicists would state that Romeo and Juliet were not in love: there are no elementary particles (‘loveons’) mediating this type of interaction. The present is represented by one singular point only. This is demonstrated by the second example. Mechanics merely is a demonstration of the electromagnetic and gravitational forces on the macroscale. Their absence can be for several reasons: they do not exist. that hopefully comply with the concept of IA. reﬂecting the conservation principles. they do exist but we do know them. evolution of biological species. present. A5. A5 – Life cycle of population.5 we can prove or disprove their existence. reaches a status quo (‘sustainability’). What happens with big populations (phylogeny) can repeat on the level of a one single individual (ontogeny). tain degree of independence and autonomy. while it is still far from its inevitable end (e.862 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 Fig. Vertical axis: characteristic parameter describing state of system (large ensemble of interacting units.6. decay due to bounds set on its existence (B). we see the youth. population. and eventually degenerates. This links back to the need of an operational deﬁnition of IA. since it is the only reality we can actually perceive. where the ‘governing equations’ are either fully absent. To top this appendix on the philosophical level. because here the mechanisms driving its internal dynamics are revealed. The A. generated of our memories. In mechanics. we do not know whether they do exist. A6 – Life cycle of individual. It takes off from zero. in the given problem. In Fig. Note that both the past and future do not exist: ‘past’ already was. he presents few situations from our everyday life. let us follow the third example. ‘future’ will only be. The insolubility can be caused by unavailability of certain integral quantities. The mental training suggested by many a philosophical schools is aimed at expanding the present. Barenblatt mentions that although the concept of IA is a part of the mathematical physics. the common people distinguish three parts of the time axis: past.g. internal dynamics in intermediate range (I). Fig. empire). to facilitate its early existence (phase G). Genesis at early times (G). according to one’s free will. we face the undecidability. To contribute to these efforts. and bounded by our future expectations and plans. In middle range.). intermediate description of historical events. . visual perception generally. civilization. A6. the feeling of the presence of the severe upper bound on the length of the current life cycle comes to play. A7. The child bears the ﬁngerprint of its birth and the care delivered by the surrounding. IA—unaffected by beginning and end (the picture is reproduced with kind permission by ‘The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’). but the results obtained would likely be largely misleading. or reﬂect only a small fragment of truth. the Roman Empire in the past. The adult is believed to be able to behave at least to a certain degree independently of the experience from the early period. absence of IA. the West in the near future). to demonstrate this conceptual generality (e. suitable also for other and less formalized research areas. separating the vast past from the equally vast future. which is an axiomatic discipline. internal decay. at least on the intuitive level. maturity and age. There are no elementary particles (‘mechanons’) that would mediate the mechanical interactions. and the way how to liberate ourselves from the diktat of the past and the future.g. On the same argument. see Fig. either explicit or implicit. In other sciences. where we lack this strong axiomatic footing. the following three examples are introduced. analogy in poetry. culture. Broader horizons In his books. if any (phase I). builds up. the mechanics is science about something that does not exist. The culture has already reached cer- 5 From the fundamental point of view. it has important signiﬁcance for variety of general situations that are multiscale in nature. see Fig. perception of visual art. and affects our behaviour strongly (phase B). etc. By convention. Exercising them would be tempting for applied mathematicians. which leads to the consistent statement about the existence of IA. The intermediate stage can be considered as IA. Getting older. The practical relevance of this picture is that we keep living in a virtual world.

• self-similar: variable. Choose system of units. The basic facts about usage of DA are widely available in the open literature (see the Reference section). Formulate similarity variables. DA—Glossary For the reader’s convenience.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 863 DA—Recipe for similarity analysis (after Barenblatt. Note: Obtaining the scaling law for a quantity may.3). • scale equation (4. 5. DA—What it is. Suggestions for using and teaching DA This appendix concerns the problem how to use DA and similarity analysis. ﬁnd similarity solution [ﬁnal output II]. choose variables with independent dimension (those most relevant). Relate similarity solution to IA behaviour of your problem.2. dimensionless number).. parameter. ◦ does give dimensionless numbers (all combinations. A selection of the educational literature is in References section 3. Problems? 6. . The taxonomy indicates how difﬁcult our questions are. estimate magnitude of Pi-terms (small/large?).5. • incomplete similarity (A. Marzano and Kendall. • grouping parameters into DN to reduce experimental data and to make correlations. • scaling rule for modelling (3. With these scale estimates we can build valuable models. which. choose yourself). • similar systems (Section 3. 2.1. scaling law for a). 7. in form of IA. Starting with the paradigmatic treatment by the father of modern education Comenius (1657).4).3). The practical recipe below for the application of the similarity analysis is taken from Barenblatt (1987. etc.2). with enormous coverage by books. Formulate similarity and scaling laws with fewest variables [ﬁnal output I]. Students should not only be taught “Know how”. • scale (4. see Fig A2): 1. • similarity theory (Section 3. Does your result comply with data? Can it be generalized? 11. To name one. Bloom (1956. modelling. DA versus scaling of equations (SE): • DA ◦ does not give any variables (they must be chosen subjectively. equations are only a ‘model’ of reality).3) (also: characteristic/typical/representative quantity.1. 1964. Check result versus data. solution (A.2) (also: similitude theory. in its ultimate form. use model equations. extended present is thus our IA.6). .2. Recommendation. Apply DA to get similarity law. differing in the expected outputs: • scaling law for a master quantity.1. Teaching aspects in particular are broadly covered by the quarterly published periodical “Chemical Engineering Educa- Fig. and which students skills are required for generating the answers. delimitate intermediate region. ˘ m ). can be experienced as the timelessness. value). but also may not be our ultimate goal. y = axb . • SE ◦ does give relevant variables (from equations.5). slightly adapted. • similarity law for a (3. 9. • scale estimate for a (3.7) and (A. as they appear in the text (place of deﬁnition): • similarity parameter (3.3). . then apply DA to ﬁnd similarity laws. handbooks. A7 – Mental training: development of extended perception of present. Teaching aspects in general are covered by wealth of pedagogical literature devoted to education at the tertiary level (university).7) (also: basic scaling for a. relevance not assured). • scaling law: power-law dependence. see also Krathwohl et al. The expressions are listed. 8. how it works? It is a very standard issue. a brief glossary of frequent terms is also included. Assume incomplete similarity and cancel small/large terms. coordinate. • scale coefﬁcient for modelling (3. spanning several centuries. Choose suitable scales for your problem. • similarity law for modelling and scale up/down. 4. See Sections 2 and 3 of this paper.2.2). Specify relevant variables (using model equations. monographs. DA—For which purpose? We can use DA for several reasons. 10. Improve this recipe. ◦ does give some relevant numbers (maybe not all. ˘ 2 . 2006) is especially useful at preparing the knowledge tests for students. relevance not assured). scale-up/down).1.2. by suppressing the virtual past and future. but also “Know why”. Appendix B.3). First obtain relevant numbers by SE. ◦ does give relation between the numbers (scale-estimate of master quantity). • complete similarity (A. Assume complete similarity and cancel small/large terms. Singularity of present is unfolded. Check result versus data. • similarity law for ˘ (3.8) (also: similarity variable/coordinate/solution). ˘ = ˚(˘ 1 . ˘-term. 1996. initial and boundary conditions). • similarity variables needed for seeking similarity solution of governing equations. 3.3). ◦ does not give relation between the numbers. .5) (also: Pi-term. based on your own experience. we can arrive at the numerous volumes of the present literature. 2003). • similarity law for modelling (3. • similarity criterion for modelling (3.. which may also be useful for educational purposes.

Microsystems in chemical technology Flows and transport phenomena in microscopic and nanoscale channels are under intense research. not too small. Such ﬂows may not be prone to hydrodynamic instabilities. Governing equations and boundary conditions The continuum approach is based on the notion of the ‘ﬂuid particle’. with all the advantages of the Stokes equation (linearity hence superposition.). so that both DA and SE can be applied. 1997. where strong cumulative and collective effects can play a role. 1994). An analogy emerges here. This holds for gases. etc. 1985. Since gases are thinner than liquids. Also. Since this basic concept is presented in the ﬁrst lecture on hydrodynamics. density).864 chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 tion”. The common surface tension decreases.3. gases are more prone to discontinuous behaviour in microsystems. where the free path is a well-deﬁned concept. Expectedly. The Debye length becomes the relevant length scale. To attract the students attention to problems of scales. Consequently. extreme shearing. and is larger in material environment. sedimentation potential. New kinds of ﬂow instability can also be produced. Consequently. This alibistic deﬁnition may well work for students. The ﬂow is usually laminar (low Re owing to small L and V). There are some recommendations for microﬂows in terms of the Knudsen number.2. In chemical technology. with the common surface effects. some comments are presented.g. based on the density argument. Krantz. we can improve the selectivity and increase conversion. We have to abandon the usual ‘macroscopic’ description. electrophoresis. We have the usual ‘macroscopic’ description. Nguyen and Wereley (2002). out of statistical balance. as localized. common sense should be used to prevent us from miniaturizing everything. polarity. dielectrophoresis). Starting from few nanometres (nm). Thanks to the fast heat transfer in systems with large (surface/volume) ratios ∼L2 /L3 ∼ 1/L. reversibility. we lack the advantage of the effective large-scale convective mixing (strong bulk turbulence). Note that all ﬂuid properties must be continuous.e. we can manage the exo/endo-thermic reactions. the force equilibria in microsystems are created by a balance of forces others than we are used to. 1968). pressure. There are articles directly related to teaching DA. all of us surely know how big it is. C. a virtual mesoscale object having the proper number of molecules. Both and are macroscopic quantities that can loose their usual meaning when transferred from large local-equilibrium ensembles on to sparse families of particles. It is useful to know how different forces and physical quantities scale with the length L (system size). Churchill.1. the ﬂow may be not (shocks. Prevailing forces There are different kinds of forces. even when the ﬂuid is continuous. Andrews.1. remember also the complementary saying: “Better to perish than publish rubbish”.6 There may be different length scales for kinematics (speed. New areas in chemical engineering Far be it from the author to tend to have any kind of visionary ambitions. Controlling the transport and reaction. the body or volume forces fall quickly with decreasing L (gravity. (distance/path) ∼ ( gas / liquid )1/3 . streaming potential.1. which likely occurs when Kn is larger than ∼10−3 to 10−2 . and vice versa. Another effect is the molecular slips of ﬂuid at rigid wall.1. say. The shortest are the interaction forces between two small molecules in vacuum. . i. In contrast. the continuum approach can be applied. In liquids. concentrated in a plane of zero thickness. 1984. and the molecular interaction distance can be taken instead of the free path. acceleration). thermodynamics (pressure. etc. the molecular forces cannot be considered as localized.1. The force balance may result from interplay between the viscous. transport (diffusion). the molecular and surface forces become important. strong theorems—minimum dissipation. number of molecules. Sides. The electrostatic-Ra may then appear. There are some aspects already known. 1984. Calder. these molecular forces in large ensembles can reach to ∼100 nm. where the no-slip BC condition C. strong surface effects. few popular books are available too (e. etc. In small systems. Microreactors and microﬂuidics C. 2000. with different ranges of action. They must be enhanced by clever design of the system geometry and ﬂow. inertia. We still have the well-deﬁned physical quantities and the power of the conservation equations. and important electro-phenomena occur (electroosmosis. they are distributed in space and time. their ‘particles’ must be larger. The mass diffusion can be complemented by micro-convection in several ways (micromixing). when the sheared ﬂuid layer is only several nm thick. centrifugal. To reduce the increasing information noise in the peer-reviewed literature. related to the current topics suggested as being topical. and electrostatic forces.g. they are of great didactical value (see e. break down of continuum concept. When it is smaller than the system. The typical features are: low Re regimes. multiscale nature. When the system size is comparable or smaller than this ﬁgure (nanochannels). reciprocity). not too large. 2002. these forces penetrate the whole bulk. C. and develop something smarter. This increases the resistance to the transport processes.). As ever. presence of many kinds of forces. One effect is rareﬁcation. On the other hand. the microreactors enable better control of system behaviour. Section 2. intense electrical ﬁelds can be produces. that make the micro-world different from ours. In micro-hydrodynamics the molecular forces can be localized into a thin surface layer. Note that the common shear viscosity increases enormously on nanoscale. the molecular forces can be considered 6 See e. Students are forced to produce a number of papers to defend their PhD thesis (“Publish or perish”). Written by professional teachers and active researches at the same time. When the system size is larger than this ﬁgure (microchannels). also Imrie. In macro-hydrodynamics the boundary effects can be localized into a thin boundary layer negligible with respect to the bulk volume. Postscript. it is not so. Morrison and Morrison. Appendix C. while in nano-hydrodynamics.1. Cadogan.g. Instead. and the ﬂow basically is in the boundary layer regime. while in micro-hydrodynamics the whole bulk is the boundary layer. but largely fails when we have to know how this ‘particle’ compares with the size of our microchannel.3. when the drop size shrinks to nanometric scales. This higher efﬁciency together with safe smaller units close to user might compete with the huge volumes produced by present plants on one spot. Others are only awaiting their discovery. The force range usually increases with the molecule size. This distance could be taken 10× smaller than the path.

The Navier–Stokes fails for Kn ∼ 100 and other models should be used (e. These are results based on observations or on elementary scaling considerations. Do we have well-deﬁned physical quantities? Are they directly related via certain physical processes? Or even better: Do we have governing equations? If so. pharmacology. medicine. The force scale relates to L and T. The common DA is expected to work also for microsystems. indicating that big animals may have problem with overheating. C. Other effects can be common (entrance effects. to select individual simple processes and study them thoroughly. DA can operate. at least for the simple reason that they are made of atoms ∼10−9 m and we are bodies ∼100 m living in space of ∼10xx m. Rather. The whole is more than the sum of its parts (in symbols: 1 + 1 = 2). They cannot be predicted from the knowledge of the single components itself (if in principle. The weight goes like ∼L3 and the force generated by the stress in muscles ∼L2 . One practical consequence for microtechnologists: a huge production block built up from many small active elements of various types will always have potential for producing unpredictable emergent behaviour. hydrophobicity). Squeeze number. we can try our best at applying DA.). speed. Efforts were spent to relate these properties and to ﬁnd some rules. Statistical approach (Boltzmann equation) or molecular dynamics of free discrete particles should be employed for Kn > 101 . t) is a function. weight. compressibility.). When the scales are not separated. Knudsen pump.). This is what physicists have been doing for centuries. and possibly also SE. length. the following points should be made clear. The physical quantity u(x. force. and how fast it responds/decays. surface roughness). is a philosophical question). It is exactly the experience and intuition that facilitate the crucial step in DA.g. wealth. corresponding matrixes.2. and can possibly be studied separately.2). The additional qualities that do not exist on the level of the individual components are the collective modes of behaviour of the whole system that emerges through the interactions of its components. eating little and much. It may not be a priori clear what good comes from their possible scaling and how to use the DN thus obtained. but the basic idea is very old. The population balance models (used not only for living units. viscous heating. eletrokinetics. C. For instance. The (loss/production) ratio is 1/L. under given conditions. choose proper characteristic scales for relevant quantities (time. the corresponding processes are likely strongly coupled and it may be difﬁcult or even impossible to decompose them. adsorption. Biotechnology. It will be ready to surprise the creator. Literature used and recommended: References sections 3. body weight. Pr.4. pathways of such a complexity that a mere set of mass equations from Section 7 for their description is ineffective. health. depending how short/long range it is. as the surface density M/L2 [kg/m2 ]. the choice of relevant variables. Some speciﬁc situations do exist at biosystems. Change the conditions systematically. the ‘physiological state’ of living matter is of paramount importance.4. There are crucial qualities that are difﬁcult to deﬁne and quantify. Biosystems Biology witnesses long-term tradition in using various scaling laws. characteristic biological times. drops) are statistical tools. Burnett and Woods equations). say. which basically are wave packets. Further. indicating that small animals may be relatively stronger than the big ones. etc. From the hierarchy of scales follows the hierarchy of functions.3. Kn. which can be scaled. applies the balance equations. with the optimum value currently set to 21 (BMI = body mass index). Multiscale methodology Multiscale approach is fashionable currently. With well-deﬁned physical quantities. . Once you create your LEGO-plant from your microbricks. Metabolic heat is produced in the body bulk ∼L3 and is released by body surface ∼L2 . The human weight is also expressed by a power-law. they are cold-blooded). like bubbles. they will produce new or different DN. but also for lifeless particles. it will start its own life. ﬂuid–structure interactions.q. there are metabolic patterns. Re (cf. one difﬁculty being our much less experience with the world of small. Observations suggest that animals are small and big. etc. In your system. Bearing number. Literature used and recommended: References section 3. Almost all things around us are multiscale systems. etc. etc. as known from complex systems. without corrupting the model (scales in turbulence are typically strongly intertwined).). neglect some terms with respect to others.). whence to subject to DA.2. Similarly in other areas (ecology. providing us with equations for probability distribution of certain property within the population (age. the graph theory is used to capture their topology and formalize the problems at least qualitatively. Literature used and recommended: References section 3. than we would expect.4. while small with underheating (beyond the limit of thermal regulation. sociology. It can be represented using the basis functions.1 and 5. with numbers in Sections 5.3.7 any time. size. After scaling. economy. The continuum approach and free-slip BC is recommended for Kn ∼ 10−2 to 10−1 . like chemical technology. proportions. diffuse/specular reﬂection at wall) and liquids (wetting. of either the physical signals (measured or computed by CFD) or the governing equations (modal dynamics). The (force/weight) ratio is 1/L. The diversity and novelty of micro-phenomena need new forces to be included.1 and 3. the corresponding processes are likely only weakly coupled. When the scales are separated by a large gap. Hierarchical systems display one spectacular feature: existence of ‘emergent properties’. an element of an abstract function space. relaxation times upon disturbing. One common basis are the harmonic functions (Fourier). The time and length scales (T and L) can be obtained by spectral analysis. The continuum approach and no-slip BC can apply for Kn < 10−2 . Different effects can be important for gases (rareﬁcation. Other numbers may be encountered too (e. heat production. where things often go straight against our intuition. metabolic rate.chemical engineering research and design 8 6 ( 2 0 0 8 ) 835–868 865 loses validity. in terms of the 7 There might even be a precedent for this in human history. Another basis are wavelets (Haar). the slip boundary condition on rigid wall for compressible ﬂows leads to Ec. Resulting empirical correlations shows power-law dependence between various quantities (body size. etc. Some DN important on macroscale may loose their relevance. etc. estimate the magnitude of individual terms in your equations. The Knudsen number can serve as the expansion parameter in building approximate models. psychology. The quality of ‘houseness’ is not present in each single brick the house is composed of. modiﬁed equations and adequate boundary conditions. thermal creep. For instance. slow and fast.

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