Pore-size gradients are often used in the design of membrane filters to increase filter lifetime and ensure fuller use of the initial membrane pore volume. In this work, we impose pore-size gradients in the setting of a membrane filter with an internal network of interconnected tubelike pores. We model the flow and foulant transport through the filter using the Hagen-Poiseuille framework coupled with advection equations via conservation of fluid and particle flux, with adsorption as the sole fouling mechanism. We study the influence of pore-size gradient on performance measures such as total filtrate throughput and accumulated contaminant concentration at the membrane downstream pore outlets. Within the limitations of our modeling assumptions we find that there is an optimal pore-radius gradient that maximizes filter efficiency independent of maximum pore length (an input parameter that influences the structure of the pore network), and that filters with longer characteristic pore length perform better.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes