Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.91, No.6, 1155-1162, 2013
Local solidosity of microcrystalline cellulose during dead-end filtration and sedimentation
Solid-liquid separation by filtration and sedimentation are important operations used in a wide range of industries. One important characteristic of both the filtration and sedimentation processes is the solidosity of the filter cake/sediment that is formed, affecting the efficiency and design of the separation. In this study local solidosity was investigated using a gamma-attenuation method during both filtration and sedimentation experiments for microcrystalline cellulose, a highly crystalline cellulose with particles of about 2-80 mu m in diameter. Constitutive relationships for the solidosity were investigated using both filtration (i.e. cake build-up and expression) and sedimentation data for experiments at different pH and suspension concentrations. The sedimentation behaviour under these different conditions was also investigated. It was found that a three parameter empirical model could be used to describe the constitutive relationship between local solidosity and local solid compressible pressure for the sediment formed and the filter cake after both cake build-up and expression. This correlation worked well for the material investigated even at low solid compressible pressures. (C) 2013 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.