Paper pulp and fiber cloths are excellent materials for precoats and filter aids. Paper pulp gives a high rate of flow, is easily discharged and shows little tendency to clog.
Paper pulp's disadvantage lies in its preparation. Soda or sulfate pulp, most commonly used, must be disintegrated and kept in suspension by agitation before precoating. This requires considerable auxiliary equipment. Diatomaceous earths, while they should be kept in suspension, are very easy to handle and do not undergo disintegration. Paper pulp compressed into pads is used in pressure filters for beverage clarification. After becoming dirty, as evidenced by decrease in the rate of flow, the paper may be repulped, water-washed and reformed into pads. Although this involves considerable work, excellent clarity and high flowrates are obtained. The impurities do not form a cake as such, but penetrate into the pad and can only be removed by repulping and washing the pad. Pads of a mixture of paper pulp and asbestos fiber are used in bacteriological filtrations. In sheet form it is employed in the laboratory for all kinds of filtration. Filter papers are made in many grades of porosity for use in porcelain and glass funnels. Industrially, paper in the form of sheets is used directly or as a precoat in filter presses.
Used directly in lubricating clarification in a "blotter press", it acts much the same manner as the paper pads, but is much thinner and is not reused. As a precoat, paper protects the filter medium from slimy fines; it may be peeled off and discarded after clogging, leaving the medium underneath clean.
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