Water Purification Technologies - Microporous Basic Filtration

There are three types of microporous filtration: depth, screen and surface. Depth filters are matted fibers or materials compressed to form a matrix that retains particles by random adsorption or entrapment. Screen filters are inherently uniform structures which, like a sieve, retain all particles larger than the precisely controlled pore size on their surface. Surface filters are made from multiple layers of media. When fluid passes through the filter, particles larger than the spaces within the filter matrix are retained, accumulating primarily on the surface of the filter.

The distinction between filters is important because the three serve very different functions. Depth filters are usually used as prefilters because they are an economical way to remove 98% of suspended solids and protect elements downstream from fouling or clogging.

Surface filters remove 99.99% of suspended solids and may be used as either prefilters or clarifying filters. Microporous membrane (screen) filters are placed at the last possible point in a system to remove the last remaining traces of resin fragments, carbon fines, colloidal particles and microorganisms.

Table 4. Microporous Basic Filtration
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Absolute filters remove all particles and microorganisms greater than the pore size.
  • Requires minimal maintenance.
  • Will not remove dissolved inorganics, chemicals, pyrogens or all colloidals.
  • Potentially high expendable costs.
  • Not regenerable.

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