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Critical and sustainable fluxes: theory, experiments and applications

Abstract : Over the last ten years, numerous membrane filtration data have been viewed in the light of the concept of critical flux. This concept, used in a number of different ways often without explicit redefinition, is here clarified both from a theoretical and from an experimental viewpoint. Also, a link is make with the sustainable fluxes. Also covered are the various methods of measurement and the influence of membrane and suspension properties on the critical flux. Over the same period of time, models have been developed to explain the observed behaviour. Those for stable colloidal suspensions are based on the existence of repulsive interactions between soft matter constituents. The assumptions and usefulness of various models are discussed. The concept of a critical concentration for phase transition is introduced into the theoretical discussion. For theoreticians and experimentalist, this and the clarified concept of a small set of critical fluxes will continue to provide a valuable framework. For membrane users dealing with most industrial process streams (mixtures and complex fluid) the concept of a sustainable flux (shown as being derived from critical flux) is of a great utility; above a certain key flux (dependent on hydrodynamics, feed conditions and process time) the rate of fouling is economically and environmentally unsustainable. For many, knowledge of the point below which no major irreversible fouling occurs (the critical flux) in a membrane separation will always be of greatest utility.
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Submitted on : Sunday, December 23, 2007 - 9:45:52 PM
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Patrice Bacchin, Pierre Aimar, Robert Field. Critical and sustainable fluxes: theory, experiments and applications. Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier, 2006, 281 (1-2), pp.42-69. ⟨10.1016/j.memsci.2006.04.014⟩. ⟨hal-00201119⟩

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