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Title: A study of the filtration of fibre/particle mixtures
Authors: Chellappah, Kuhan
Keywords: Cake filtration
Sedimentation
Porosity
Packing
Permeability
Fibres
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: © Kuhan Chellappah
Abstract: This thesis investigates the constant pressure cake filtration of interacting cellulose fibre/TiO2 (rutile) mixtures, and involved experimental studies using an automated pressure filtration apparatus. The influence of suspension composition, filtration pressure and solution environment on filtration has been discussed in relation to cake properties such as average cake porosity and specific resistance. To help interpret the filtration results, sedimentation data were also obtained. The average porosities of filter cakes formed from pure rutile and fibre suspensions in deionised water were approximately 0.6 and 0.75, respectively, and a steady and progressive increase in porosity with fibre fraction was generally observed. With filtrations at 450 kPa, the average specific cake resistances for pure fibre and rutile in deionised water were approximately 9.4x1013 and 4.2x1012 m kg-1 respectively, with the variation of specific resistance with solids composition showing a minimum. Similar trends were observed at other tested filtration pressures with suspensions in deionised water but not with filtrations of suspensions in 0.2 M NaCl and 0.1 M CaCl2 solutions. The minima in average specific cake resistance with solids composition for feeds in deionised water was attributed to rutile-fibre interactions. Abrupt transitions in cake structure were evident part way through some filtrations, and resulted in unexpected filtrate flow behaviour. This is an interesting phenomenon, and not only were the changes in cake structure relatively reproducible, but also the nature of the change could be altered by changes in filtration pressure, solids composition and/or solution environment. The study of fibre/particle binary filtration behaviour, in particular the porosity and specific cake resistance trends, were substantiated by relevant theoretical treatment and modelling analysis. With the porosity trends, an additive porosity concept seemed to represent the data better than interparticle penetration models. With the specific cake resistance trends, a semi-empirical equation was proposed which appeared to represent a wide range of binary mixture filtration data. A mathematical framework was also developed in an attempt to understand the underlying physical mechanisms which led to filter cake restructuring, and possible explanations were postulated.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/6323
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Chemical Engineering)

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