How micro filtration works.


Microfiltration is a type of physical filtration process where a contaminated fluid is passed through a special pore-sized membrane to separate micro-organisms and suspended particles from process liquid. It is commonly used in conjunction with various other separation processes such as ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis to provide a product stream which is free of undesired contaminants.

Microfiltration usually serves as a pre-treatment for other separation processes such as ultrafiltration, and a post-treatment for granular media filtration.

The typical particle size used for microfiltration ranges from about 0.1 to 10 µm.[1] In terms of approximate molecular weight these membranes can separate macromolecules of molecular weights generally less than 100,000 g/mol. The filters used in the microfiltration process are specially designed to prevent particles such as, sediment, algae, protozoa or large bacteria from passing through a specially designed filter. More microscopic, atomic or ionic materials such as water (H2O), monovalent species such as Sodium (Na+) or Chloride (Cl−) ions, dissolved or natural organic matter, and small colloids and viruses will still be able to pass through the filter.

The suspended liquid is passed through at a relatively high velocity of around 1–3 m/s and at low to moderate pressures (around 100-400 kPa) parallel or tangential to the semi-permeable membrane in a sheet or tubular form. A pump is commonly fitted onto the processing equipment to allow the liquid to pass through the membrane filter. There are also two pump configurations, either pressure driven or vacuum. A differential or regular pressure gauge is commonly attached to measure the pressure drop between the outlet and inlet streams.

Microfiltration membranes are used are in the water, beverage and bio-processing industries.