Electrophoresis, Vol.42, No.1-2, 134-152, 2021
A review of dielectrophoretic separation and classification of non-biological particles
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a selective electrokinetic particle manipulation technology that is applied for almost 100 years and currently finds most applications in biomedical research using microfluidic devices operating at moderate to low throughput. This paper reviews DEP separators capable of high-throughput operation and research addressing separation and analysis of non-biological particle systems. Apart from discussing particle polarization mechanisms, this review summarizes the early applications of DEP for dielectric sorting of minerals and lists contemporary applications in solid/liquid, liquid/liquid, and solid/air separation, for example, DEP filtration or airborne fiber length classification; the review also summarizes developments in DEP fouling suppression, gives a brief overview of electrocoalescence and addresses current problems in high-throughput DEP separation. We aim to provide inspiration for DEP application schemes outside of the biomedical sector, for example, for the recovery of precious metal from scrap or for extraction of metal from low-grade ore.