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Title: A study of the filtration of fibre/particle mixtures
Author: Chellappah, Kuhan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 9484
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2010
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cake filtration ; Sedimentation ; Porosity ; Packing ; Permeability ; Fibres