Dynamics Of Cake Formation

Filtration operations are capable of handling suspensions of varying characteristics ranging from granular, incompressible, free-filtering materials to slime-like compositions, as well as finely divided colloidal suspensions in which the cakes are incompressible. These latter materials tend to contaminate or foul the filter medium. The interaction between the particles in suspension and the filter medium determines to a large extent the specific mechanisms responsible for filtration. In practice, cake filtration is used more often than filter-medium filtration. Upon achieving a certain thickness, the cake must be removed from the medium. This can be accomplished by the use of various mechanical devices or by reversing the flow of filtrate back through the medium (hence, the name backflushing). To prevent the formation of muddy filtrate at the beginning of the subsequent clarification - clarifiers are designed to efficiently remove undissolved substances from wastewater; removal is dependent upon density differences and is often enhanced by chemical means. Clarifiers are tank-like structures that may be either circular or rectangular in shape. When wastewaters enter these treatment areas denser undissolved substances settle out, others rise to the surface. A scraper (rake) moves across the bottom of the clarifier; settled matter (sludge) is moved to a collection area. A skimmer moves across the water's surface collecting floating material.

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