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Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering



Chemical Engineering Process Laboratory II

Experiment F1
Filter Press


Matric No.


Date of Expt. :


Many process operations produce SLURRY of solid particles suspended in a liquid which
must be separated into the solid and liquid phases. The simplest method is to FILTER the
slurry through a fine mesh FILTER CLOTH so that the solid FILTER CAKE is deposited on
the cloth whilst the clear liquid FILTRATE flows through. Either the CAKE or the
FILTRATE or both may be the useful products of this operation. As the cake builds up on
the cloth the resistance to flow increases and a greater pressure would be required to force
the liquid through the cake itself. In a vacuum filter the cake can be scrapped off the cloth
continuously but this is slow and produces a very loose cake. High pressure filtration is
faster and produces denser cakes but it is necessary to contain the system within a PRESS
which must then be opened to remove the cake. This method is therefore only suitable for
batch operations.
The basic filtration equation can be expressed as:
A2 P
V v + AR



V= volume of filtrate collected, m3

t = time, s
A = filtration area, m2
P = pressure drop, Pa
= viscosity of the filtrate
= specific resistance of the cake, m-2
R = filter medium resistance, m-1
v = volume of cake of unit volume of filtrate

For a filtration at constant pressure, equation (1) can be rearranged as

(K1V+K2) dV= dt

K1 =

A (P)

and K 2 =



Integration of the equation (2) gives

t ti
(V + Vi ) + K 2
V Vi


where ti and Vi are the starting time of the constant pressure filtration and the correspond
volume of filtrate. By plotting (t-ti)/(V-Vi) vs. (V+Vi), a linear line can be obtained. K1 and
K2 can be calculated form the slope and intercept

This rig consists of a multi-plate FILTER PRESS fed with water based slurry which is
pumped from a storage tank using a progressing cavity pump. The slurry flow rate is
measured by a digital flow meter and the pressure with pressure transmitter. The filtrate
(water in this case) is allowed to run to waste or a collection tank.
a) Familiarisation
Study and sketch the layout of this plant so that you are familiar with its operation and the
purpose of each item. You must get approval of the supervisor before proceeding to the next
b) Operation
Check that BV1, BV2 and BV5 are at the open position and BV3, BV4, DV1, DV2 and DV3
are closed. Make sure that there is no built up on the sealing rims of the filter plates and that
filter sheets hang close to the plates without folds. Shift the filter plates from the shifting
plate side to the head side. Close the release valve at the hand pump and pump the hydraulic
closure to 200bar. Ensure feed tank is filled up to the marked level and the filtrate tank level
is above the low level sensor.
Turn on the main supply. Reset the system by toggling the reset button to the right hand side
and hold until the red light is OFF. Run the system in auto mode. Start the mixer and allow
it to run for 20 minutes. Set conditions for the filtration on the control panel. Switch on the
feed pump and start recording the pressure and flow rate. Observe any changes in clarity of
the filtrate. You should allow the process to continue until the feed level is lower than the
propeller or the feed pressure is fluctuating violently. Switch off the pump and stirrer.
c) Dismantling
Open the release valve at the hand pump. The spring in the single acting cylinder will pull
back the piston rod. Push back the shifting plate. Carefully lift out the frame containing the
filter cake and the filter cloth. The cake, which should be firm and compact, can be pushed
out of the frame into the bucket. Slide the next plate and lift out the next frame and so on.
When all the frames have been removed wash them carefully to remove all traces of filter
cake from the surfaces. Put the filter cake back into the tank and fill up the tank to the
marked level.
f) Carry out a set of constant pressure filtration experiments on the slurry and apply the
filtration theory to interpret the data.

Results and Discussions:

Sketch the plant layout and draw cross-sections of the plate and frame elements to show the
internal flow patterns. Plot graphs of pressure and flow rate against time and comment on
their shape. Describe briefly one other technique for filtration.
What is the practical significance of the filtration equations? Calculate , the specific cake
resistance and R, the filter-medium resistance, and fit an empirical equation to the results for


1. Coulson JM and Richardson JF, Chemical Engieering Vol2, New York: Pergamon
Press, 1990.
2. Purchas DB, Industrial Filtration of Liquids, Leonard Hill, 1971.
3. Perry RH, Chemical Engineers Handbook, McGraw-Hill, 1982.
4. McCabe, Smith and Harriott, Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, McGraw-Hill,
5. Wakeman RJ and Tarleton ES, Filtration Equipment Selection, Modelling and Process
Simulation, Elsevier Advanced Technology, 1999