Cake filtration modeling: Analytical cake filtration model and filter medium characterization
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Cake filtration is a unit operation to separate solids from fluids in industrial processes. The build up of a filter cake is usually accompanied with a decrease in overall permeability over the filter leading to an increased pressure drop over the filter. For an incompressible filter cake that builds up on a homogeneous filter cloth, a linear pressure drop profile over time is expected for a constant fluid volume flow. However, experiments show curved pressure drop profiles, which are also attributed to inhomogeneities of the filter (filter medium and/or residual filter cake). In this work, a mathematical filter model is developed to describe the relationship between time and overall permeability. The model considers a filter with an inhomogeneous permeability and accounts for fluid mechanics by a one-dimensional formulation of Darcy's law and for the cake build up by solid continuity. The model can be solved analytically in the time domain. The analytic solution allows for the unambiguous inversion of the model to determine the inhomogeneous permeability from the time resolved overall permeability, e.g. pressure drop measurements. An error estimation of the method is provided by rewriting the model as convolution transformation. This method is applied to simulated and experimental pressure drop data of gas filters with textile filter cloths and various situations with non-uniform flow situations in practical problems are explored. A routine is developed to generate characteristic filter cycles from semi-continuous filter plant operation. The model is modified to investigate the impact of non-uniform dust concentrations.