In chemical engineering, biochemical engineering and protein purification, crossflow filtration (also known as tangential flow filtration) is a type of filtration (a particular unit operation). Crossflow filtration is different from dead-end filtration in which the feed is passed through a membrane or bed, the solids being trapped in the filter and the filtrate being released at the other end. Cross-flow filtration gets its name because the majority of the feed flow travels tangentially across the surface of the filter, rather than into the filter. The principal advantage of this is that the filter cake (which can blind the filter) is substantially washed away during the filtration process, increasing the length of time that a filter unit can be operational. It can be a continuous process, unlike batch-wise dead-end filtration.
This type of filtration is typically selected for feeds containing a high proportion of small particle size solids (where the permeate is of most value) because solid material can quickly block (blind) the filter surface with dead-end filtration. Industrial examples of this include the extraction of soluble antibiotics from fermentation liquors.
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... The flux or flow rate in cross-flow filtration systems is given by the equation. ...