Learning latest in solid liquid filtration in San Diego
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The World Filtration Conference 13 (WFC 13) in San Diego was a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues from North America and Europe. It has been over six years, and we picked up our conversations as if we had seen each other only yesterday. At the same time, the October conference was a chance to learn the latest in solid-liquid separation.

I enjoyed being a session moderator as well as a presenter on a topic of holistic and integrated chemical engineering. If you missed the conference, my presentation is available online: “Optimizing Downstream Final Drying with Upstream Solid-Liquid Filtration, Cake Washing & Dewatering.” This topic is also highlighted in my new book, Integration and Optimization of Unit Operations.” 

WFC 13 also provided an opportunity to learn about new and ground-breaking technology to help clients of Perlmutter & Idea Development (P&ID).

Digitalization & the Latest in Solid-Liquid Separation

Demonstrating digitalization of solid-liquid filtration, there were several presentations on the use of sensors to optimize the process. For example, the modernization/digitalization of filter presses using sensors embedded into the filter plate itself for cake moisture, cloth washing (conductivity), residual moisture, temperature profiles and cloth failure (filtrate quality). In addition, for vacuum belt technologies, the use of thermal cameras to determine cake cracking and cake dewatering was illustrated.

The use of steam pressure filtration as an alternative to gas/air pressure followed by drying is another interesting development. One presentation illustrated the use of low-pressure steam for solid-liquid filtration in a solvent slurry (i.e., toluene) followed by drying in an aqueous environment, resulting from the condensed steam. This approach can be used, for example, in specialty chemical, pharma with high-purity steam as well as for high viscous slurries.

There were also many studies discussing methods to improve cake washing in a production plant where the cake geometry is changing from hills, to valleys, to sloping.

Exhibitors also showed some interesting technologies for solid-liquid separation for lithium production, battery materials and recycling. These included rotating screens manufactured in alloys and synthetic materials to 1–5-micron, filter aids and speciality drying. For more information, please visit BPR (Brine, Powder, Recycling).      

Contact me to discuss these innovations via in-person or virtual meetings. Let’s optimize and improve together.