A microfluidic membrane chip for in situ fouling characterization

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A new method for non-invasive in situ monitoring of a microfiltration process is described. In microfiltration systems, local information on the deposition characteristics can be used to determine the cake behavior during a filtration run. Typically, non-invasive methods of fouling study are restricted to specialized membranes, or require highly complex systems. This study employs the use of synthetic embedded channel membranes, with channels separated by a porous structure (active membrane). The characteristics of the active membrane have been analyzed. Deposition on the membrane surface can be observed and monitored optically across the width of the feed channel. This can be used to observe the liquid hydrodynamics in the channel as well as the local cake properties in time. In dead end filtration, it has been observed that with 6 μm particles, the cake initially deposits towards the end of the membrane. However, as filtration continues, the deposition changes with more local deposition towards the channel entrance, leading to a more homogeneous cake layer.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)202-207
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • IR-71500
  • METIS-259270

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