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Keywords:

  • porous walls;
  • concentration-dependent viscosity;
  • water filtration;
  • concentration polarization

The transport of a dilute suspension of particles through a channel with porous walls, accounting for the concentration dependence of the viscosity, is analyzed. In particular, we study two cases of fluid permeation through the porous channel walls: (1) at a constant flux and (2) dependent on the pressure drop across the wall. We also consider the effect of mixing the suspension first compared with point injection by considering inlet concentration distributions of different widths. We find that a pessimal inlet distribution width exists that maximizes the required hydrodynamic pressure for a constant fluid influx. The effect of an external hydrodynamic pressure, to compensate for the reduced transmembrane pressure difference due to osmotic pressure, is investigated. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 1891–1904, 2014