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Research Papers

Three-Dimensional Fluid Dynamic Model for the Prediction of Microfiltration Membrane Fouling and Flux Decline

[+] Author and Article Information
Seounghyun Ham, Shiv G. Kapoor, Richard E. DeVor

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801

John E. Wentz

School of Engineering,  University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN 55105

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 133(4), 041001 (Jul 20, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003791 History: Received May 14, 2009; Revised February 15, 2011; Published July 20, 2011; Online July 20, 2011

A three-dimensional fluid dynamic model is developed to predict flux decline due to membrane fouling during the microfiltration of semisynthetic metalworking fluids. The model includes surface forces as well as hydrodynamic effects. Two pore model geometries are developed based on sintered aluminum oxide membranes. Simulations conducted using a single-pathway pore geometry illustrate the ability of the three-dimensional model to represent how flow continues through a partially blocked pore and how partial blocking reduces effective cross-sectional area. A four-disk pore geometry is used to compare flux decline behavior for different pore size distributions representing a new membrane and a membrane that had become partially blocked. Flux decline results are found to be consistent with published experimental results for similar membranes. An example shows how the three-dimensional fluid dynamic model may be used to determine the best membrane pore size distribution for a given situation and therefore demonstrates its overall utility as a design tool.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Cross-section of sintered aluminum oxide membrane [9]

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Figure 2

Single passageway geometry model

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Figure 3

Fluid flow after particle #31 becomes stuck

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Figure 4

Fluid flow after particle #31 becomes stuck showing stacking within main pathway

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Figure 5

Complete blocking of two-dimensional pore [12]

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Figure 6

Disk geometry for initial pore size distribution

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Figure 7

Disk geometry for partially blocked pore size distribution

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Figure 8

Membrane fouling simulation at steady-state for (a) initial pore size distribution and (b) partially blocked size distribution (line indicates path of particle #200)

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Figure 9

Cross-section of fouled membrane showing deposition within membrane

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Figure 10

Flux decline for initial pore size distribution

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Figure 11

Flux decline for partially blocked pore size distribution

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Figure 12

Disk geometry for disk 2 pore size distribution

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Figure 13

Membrane fouling simulation at steady-state for (a) disk 1 and (b) disk 2 (line indicates path of particle # 200)

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Figure 14

Flux decline for disk geometry simulation: disk 1 (upper); disk 2 (lower)

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