Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences - (Ph.D.)
Linda Jane Cummings
Emilie Marie Dressaire
The purpose of this thesis is to formulate and investigate new mathematical models for membrane filtration. The work presented is divided into six chapters. In the first chapter the problem is introduced and motivated. In the second chapter, a new mathematical model for flow and fouling in a pleated membrane filter is presented. Pleated membrane filters are widely used in many applications, and offer significantly better surface area to volume ratios than equal area unpleated membrane filters. However, their filtration characteristics are markedly inferior to those of equivalent unpleated membrane filters in dead-end filtration. While several hypotheses have been advanced for this, one possibility is that the flow field induced by the pleating leads to spatially nonuniform fouling of the filter, which in turn degrades performance. This hypothesis is investigated by developing a simplified model for the flow and fouling within a pleated membrane filter. The model accounts for the pleated membrane geometry (which affects the flow), for porous support layers surrounding the membrane, and for two membrane fouling mechanisms: (i) adsorption of very small particles within membrane pores; and (ii) blocking of entire pores by large particles. Asymptotic techniques are used based on the small pleat aspect ratio to solve the model, and solutions are compared to those for the closest-equivalent unpleated filter.
Sanaei, Pejman, "Mathematical modeling of membrane filtration" (2017). Dissertations. 24.