Comparison of different pitch lengths on static promoters for flux enhancement in tubular ceramic membrane

Oluwaseun O. Ogunbiyi, Nick J. Miles, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of turbulence promoters in membrane based processes have been investigated and are increasingly been used in industrial applications to minimize fouling and enhance the membrane flux. The efficiency of crossflow microfiltration is limited by membrane fouling and concentration polarization leading to flux decline during operation. A detailed study was carried out in the microfiltration of yeast suspensions using an in-house rig and three different static turbulence promoters of varying pitch lengths. The design of the promoters incorporates a helical thread around the length of the insert, which induces turbulent flow through the membrane. This promotes good mixing of the feed fluid and minimizes concentration polarization effects. The testing of tubular membranes with the static inserts has been carried out and the results are included in the report. The pitch lengths used were 7mm, 10mm, and 14mm and the parameters investigated included temperature, CFV, concentration of feed suspension and pressure. The flux decline data was recorded over a 50 minute filtration cycle and the cleaning protocol was employed after every cycle to restore the permeability of the membrane. A comparison of the membrane performance and efficiency of the three swirls inserts of varying pitch lengths together with a comparison of the degree of total, reversible, and irreversible fouling data amongst others are reported and discussed. The results obtained during the investigations of flux enhancement via static turbulence promoters into the tubular membranes are presented and are selected to differentiate the efficiency of the inserts and the degree of fouling associated with them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1945-1963
Number of pages19
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Ceramic
  • Fouling
  • Pitch length
  • Tubular
  • Turbulence promoters
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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