Network-based membrane filters: Influence of network and pore size variability on filtration performance

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We model porous membrane filters as networks of connected cylindrical pores via a random network generation protocol, and their initial pore radii via a uniform distribution of widths that vary about some mean value. We investigate the influence of network and pore size (radius) variations on the performance of membrane filters that undergo adsorptive fouling. We find that membrane porosity variations, independently of whether induced by variations of the pore radii or of the random pore network, are an important factor determining membrane filter performance. Network and pore size variations still play a role, in particular if pore radii variations are significant. To quantify the influence of these variations, we compare the performance metrics of networks built from pores of variable radii to their (equal porosity) counterparts built from pores of uniform radius. We show that the effect of pore radii variations is to increase throughput, but also to reduce foulant control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120668
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Sep 5 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


  • Filter pore networks
  • Membrane fouling
  • Network modeling


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