Ultrasound and electrokinetic phenomena in filtration

Pentti Pirkonen, Juha Heikkinen, Hanna Huotari

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


The use of additional forces to aid filtration and dewatering has gained increasing recognition during the recent years. Commercial electrically assisted filters exist but they have not been adopted widely, and ultrasonically assisted filters are found almost exclusively in research laboratories. Properties and small-scale uses of ultrasound (US) have been studied extensively by physicists, chemists and others. The resulting macrosonic applications can be found in several areas of industrial process engineering, e.g. in extraction processes, cleaning, atomization, emulsification and cell disruption, dispersion of solids, nucleation and growth of crystals, as well as in degassing. The present text is mainly focused on practical applications of ultrasonically and elecrically assisted filtration. The advantages expected from the utilisation of ultrasound filtration include more rapid liquid removal rate, higher dry solids content of the product, lower processing temperature, maintenance of product integrity and product recovery. The main reasons hindering the breakthrough of filtration technologies connected with ultrasonics are underdevelopment of transducer technology and control of erosion caused by cavitation at high ultrasonic intensities. The advantages expected from using electric field in filtration include prevention of filter fouling, agglomeration of particles, faster water flow through porous material and filter media, and killing of micro-organisms. Technical problems and often high energy demand prevent the application of electrical phenomena for industrial equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventSuodatusseminaari 2000 - Espoo, Finland
Duration: 17 Feb 200018 Feb 2000


SeminarSuodatusseminaari 2000


  • filters
  • filtration
  • ultrasound
  • electrokinetics
  • cace filtration
  • membranes
  • membrane filtration
  • drying
  • dewatering
  • porous media
  • microorganisms

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