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Facts At Your Fingertips: Cake Filtration Basics

By Scott Jenkins, Chemical Engineering magazine |

Filtration is arguably the most common unit operation in the chemical process industries (CPI). Filtration processes can be divided into three broad categories: cake filtration, where the incoming slurry contains enough solid material to form a cake on the filter medium; clarifying filtration, which involves feeds with solids levels that are too low to form a cake and where the solids become embedded in the filtration medium; and crossflow filtration, where the feed flows parallel to the filtration surface, rather than the conventional perpendicular flow. This one-page reference summarizes the basic operation and mechanism for cake filtration processes. Cake formation In cake filtration, feed is introduced upstream of the filter, and a layer of solids is deposited onto the surface of the filter medium. Some of the particles in this layer of material bridge the gaps between the fibers of the filter medium, a process known as bridging. Subsequently, new particles are deposited onto this existing layer, forming a second layer of solids. The concept is depicted in Figure 1a, where the dark circles represent the solid portion (for example, fibers) of the filtration medium, and the gaps between the circles denote the flow path for filtrate.…
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