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Comment PDF Separation Processes

Crossflow Membrane Filtration Essentials

By Alan Gabelman |

Several aspects of crossflow membrane filtration, including process design, equipment selection and control, are detailed here A membrane, also referred to as a semipermeable membrane, is a thin layer of material that selectively passes one or more components of a feed solution or slurry, while retaining the others. Biological membranes have existed since the dawn of time, but synthetic membranes are of greater industrial importance. These were first employed commercially in crossflow filtration operations in the 1960s, and growth in the ensuing years was remarkably fast. Today, crossflow membrane filtration (CMF) is a major unit operation that is pervasive in numerous industries. Figure 1. Crossflow membrane filtration (CMF) differs from conventional filtration in that feed flow is parallel to, rather than perpendicular to, the filtration surface[/caption] The concept is illustrated in Figure 1. Unlike conventional filtration [ 1], feed flow is parallel to, rather than perpendicular to, the filtration surface. During a given pass, only a small portion of the feed permeates the membrane and becomes permeate, while a much larger portion is retained as retentate. Most of the retentate is returned for multiple passes, by the action…
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