Flow and fouling in membrane filters: Effects of membrane morphology

P. Sanaei, L. J. Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Membrane filters are used extensively in microfiltration applications. The type of membrane used can vary widely depending on the particular application, but broadly speaking the requirements are to achieve fine control of separation, with low power consumption. The solution to this challenge might seem obvious: select the membrane with the largest pore size and void fraction consistent with the separation requirements. However, membrane fouling (an inevitable consequence of successful filtration) is a complicated process, which depends on many parameters other than membrane-pore size and void fraction; and which itself greatly affects the filtration process and membrane functionality. In this work we formulate mathematical models that can (i)A account for the membrane internal morphology (internal structure, pore size and shape, etc.); (ii) describe fouling of membranes with specific morphology; and (iii) make some predictions as to what type of membrane morphology might offer optimum filtration performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-771
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - May 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • low-Reynolds-number flows
  • porous media
  • suspensions


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