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related to the pressure difference by the empirical equation

a = CY’(AP)~ (36)
where a’ is a constant with value dependent on the properties of the solid
material and s is a constant known as the compressibility exponent of the cake.
The value of s would be zero for a perfectly noncompressible cake and unity for
a completely compressible cake. For commercial slurries, the value of s is
usually between 0.1 and 0.8.
The following general equation for rate of filtrate delivery is obtained by
combining Eqs. (35) and (36):
dV A’(AP)‘-”
-= (37)
DO a’w( v +&)/A
This equation applies to the case of constant-rate filtration. For the more
common case of constant-pressure-drop filtration, A, AP, S, a’, W, V,, and p
can all be assumed to be constant with change in V, and Eq. (37) can be
integrated between the limits of zero and V to give

V2 + *AvFv = *A2(AP)1-Se (38)


Batch Filters
Equations (37) and (38) are directly applicable for use in the design of batch
filters. The constants a’, S, and V, must be evaluated experimentally, and the
general equations can then be applied to conditions of varying A, AP, V, 8, w,
and p. One point of caution is necessary, however. In the usual situations, the
constants are evaluated experimentally in a laboratory or pilot-plant filter.
These constants may be used to scale up to a similar filter with perhaps 100
times the area of the experimental unit. To reduce scale-up errors, the constants
should be obtained experimentally with the same slurry mixture, same filter aid,
and approximately the same pressure drop as are to be used in the final
designed filter. Under these conditions, the values of a’ and s will apply
adequately to the larger unit. Fortunately, V, is usually small enough for
changes in its value due to scale-up to have little effect on the final results.
The following example illustrates the methods for determining the con-
stants and applying them in the design of a large plate-and-frame filter.

Example 5 Estimation of filtering area required for a plate-and-frame filtration

operation. A plate-and-frame filter press is to be used for removing the solid
material from a slurry containing 5 lb of dry solids per cubic foot of solid-free
liquid. The viscosity of the liquid is 1 centipoise, and the filter must deliver at least
400 ft3 of solid-free filtrate over a continuous operating time of 2 h when the
pressure-difference driving force over the filter unit is constant at 25 psi. On the
basis of the following data obtained in a small plate-and-frame filter press,
estimate the total area of filtering surface required.

Experimental data. The following data were obtained in a plate-and-frame

filter press with a total filtering area of 8 ft*:

Time from start of filtration (0), h,

Total volume at constant pressure difference of
of filtrate
(V), ft’ AP = 20 psi AP = 30 psi AP = 40 psi

5 0.34 0.25 0.21

8 0.85 0.64 0.52
10 1.32 1.00 0.81
12 1.90 1.43 1.17

The slurry (with filter aid) was identical to that which is to be used in the large
filter. The filtrate obtained was free of solid, and a negligible amount of liquid was
retained in the cake.

Solution. An approximate solution could be obtained by interpolating for values of

V at AP = 25 psi and then using two of these values to set up Eq. (38) in the form
of two equations involving only the two unknowns V, and (AP)‘-s/ciw~. By
simultaneous solution, the values of V, and (API’-“/a’wp could be obtained.
The final required area could then be determined directly from Eq. (38). Because
this method puts too much reliance on the precision of individual experimental
measurements, a more involved procedure using all the experimental data is
The following method can be used to evaluate the constants VF, S, and a’ in
Eq. (38):
Rearrange Eq. (38) to give
B’AP a’wp( AP)’ V
-= A + CY’W/.&(AP)~
V/A 2
At constant AP a plot of 0 AP/(V/A) vs. V/A should give a straight line
with a slope equal to 0’wp(AP)‘/2 and an intercept at V/A = 0 of a’wpV,dAP)s.
Figure 14-59 presents a plot of this type based on the experimental data for this
problem. Any time the same variable appears in both the ordinate and abscissa of
a straight-line plot, an analysis for possible misinterpretation should be made. In
this case, the values of 0 and AP change sufficiently to make a plot of this type
The following slopes and intercepts are obtained from Fig. 14-59:

Slope =
cc’wp(AP)’ Intercept =
a’w VW’Y,
Ap, psf O$,,(ft4~ (hNW/ft3

20 x 144 2380 70
30 x 144 2680 80
40 x 144 2920 90

Values of CY’, s, and V, could now be obtained by simultaneous solution with

any three of the appropriate values presented in the preceding list. However, a

FIGURE 14.59
Plot for evaluation of constants
0 04 0.6 i.2 4.6 2.0 for filtrate-rate equation in Elx-
V/A, f t ample 5.

better idea as to the reliability of the design constants is obtained by using the
following procedure:
Take the logarithm of the expressions for the slope and the intercept in Fig.
14-59. This gives

log (slope) = s log A P + log 2

log (intercept) = s log AP + log cr’wpVF

A log-log plot of the Fig. 14-59 slopes versus AP should give a straight line with a
slope of s and an intercept at log (AP) = 0 of log (cY’o~/~). In this way, s and (Y’
can be evaluated, and the consistency of the data can be checked. This plot is
ptesented in Fig. 14-60. From the slope and intercept,
s = 0.3
- = 220
Similarly, a log-log plot of the Fig. 14-59 intercepts versus AP should give a
straight line with a slope of s and an intercept at log (AP) = 0 of log (a’w~I$),
from which V, could be evaluated. Because the value of V, is relatively small, the
intercepts read from Fig. 14-59 are not precise. The value of I$, therefore, will be
estimated from the combined results of Figs. 14-59 and 14-60.
w = 5 lb/ft3
/J = 2.42 Ib/(h)(ft)
= 36 with units equivalent to CY units of h2/lb
a) = (5)(2.42)


2000 3000 4000 50006000 8000 10,000

FIGURE 14-60
Secondary plot for evaluation of constants for filtrate-rate equation in Example 5.

On the basis of the Fig. 14-59 intercept for the 30-psi line,
80 80
v, =
a’wp( AP)” = (36)(5)(2.42)(30 x 144)“.3

= 0.015 fP/sq ft
Substitution of the constants into Eq. (38) gives the final equation for use in
evaluating the total filtering area needed for the large filter:

V2 + o.03Av = 2A2(AP)1-o.3e
For the conditions of this problem,

A P = 25 x 144 psf
w = 5 Ib/ft3
p = 2.42 lb/(h)(ft)
Substituting the indicated values gives

2A2(25 x 144)‘.‘(2)
VW2 + (0.03)(4OO)A = (36)(5)(2 42)

Solving for A,
A = 240 ft2
The total area of filtering surface required is approximately 240 ft2.