Development of filter media treatments for liquid filtration
Järvinen, Kimmo (2007-12-18T11:17:04Z)
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Woven monofilament, multifilament, and spun yarn filter media have long been the standard media in liquid filtration equipment. While the energy for a solid-liquid separation process is determined by the engineering work, it is the interface between the slurry and the equipment - the filter media - that greatly affects the performance characteristics of the unit operation. Those skilled in the art are well aware that a poorly designed filter medium may endanger the whole operation, whereas well-performing filter media can make the operation smooth and economical. As the mineral and pulp producers seek to produce ever finer and more refined fractions of their products, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to dewater slurries with average particle sizes around 1 ¿m using conventional, high-capacity filtration equipment. Furthermore, the surface properties of the media must not allow sticky and adhesive particles to adhere to the media. The aim of this thesis was to test how the dirt-repellency, electrical resistance and highpressure filtration performance of selected woven filter media can be improved by modifying the fabric or yarn with coating, chemical treatment and calendering. The results achieved by chemical surface treatments clearly show that the woven media surface properties can be modified to achieve lower electrical resistance and improved dirt-repellency. The main challenge with the chemical treatments is the abrasion resistance and, while the experimental results indicate that the treatment is sufficiently permanent to resist standard weathering conditions, they may still prove to be inadequately strong in terms of actual use.From the pressure filtration studies in this work, it seems obvious that the conventional woven multifilament fabrics still perform surprisingly well against the coated media in terms of filtrate clarity and cake build-up. Especially in cases where the feed slurry concentration was low and the pressures moderate, the conventional media seemed to outperform the coated media. In the cases where thefeed slurry concentration was high, the tightly woven media performed well against the monofilament reference fabrics, but seemed to do worse than some of the coated media. This result is somewhat surprising in that the high initial specific resistance of the coated media would suggest that the media will blind more easily than the plain woven media. The results indicate, however, that it is actually the woven media that gradually clogs during the coarse of filtration. In conclusion, it seems obvious that there is a pressure limit above which the woven media looses its capacity to keep the solid particles from penetrating the structure. This finding suggests that for extreme pressures the only foreseeable solution is the coated fabrics supported by a strong enough woven fabric to hold thestructure together. Having said that, the high pressure filtration process seems to follow somewhat different laws than the more conventional processes. Based on the results, it may well be that the role of the cloth is most of all to support the cake, and the main performance-determining factor is a long life time. Measuring the pore size distribution with a commercially available porometer gives a fairly accurate picture of the pore size distribution of a fabric, but failsto give insight into which of the pore sizes is the most important in determining the flow through the fabric. Historically air, and sometimes water, permeability measures have been the standard in evaluating media filtration performance including particle retention. Permeability, however, is a function of a multitudeof variables and does not directly allow the estimation of the effective pore size. In this study a new method for estimating the effective pore size and open pore area in a densely woven multifilament fabric was developed. The method combines a simplified equation of the electrical resistance of fabric with the Hagen-Poiseuille flow equation to estimate the effective pore size of a fabric and the total open area of pores. The results are validated by comparison to the measured values of the largest pore size (Bubble point) and the average pore size. The results show good correlation with measured values. However, the measured and estimated values tend to diverge in high weft density fabrics. This phenomenon is thought to be a result of a more tortuous flow path of denser fabrics, and could most probably be cured by using another value for the tortuosity factor.
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