Comparative performance of philic and phobic oil-mist filters



The evolution of pressure drop, drainage rate, saturation, and efficiency of combined philic, and phobic oil mist filters in real-time are examined. The experiments used four different filter configurations, with a combination of oleophobic and oleophilic fibrous filter media, and one oleophilic only reference. The effect of separating filter materials of differing wettability, with a mesh, was also explored. It was found that inclusion of a mesh between layers promoted increased drainage rates and resulted in a significantly lower pressure drop across the filter. The overall mass-based filtration efficiency was also slightly higher for the configurations containing the mesh. Conversely, re-entrainment of droplets from the rear face of the filter was only observed in filter configurations without the central mesh. Filters with oleophobic initial layers did not display a classical “depth filtration” pressure drop curve. The oleophobic media was found to possess lower steady-state saturation than oleophilic media. Additionally, the steady-state saturation of the oleophilic filter media, when placed at the rear of the filter, was lower when the central mesh was present. The saturation values were compared with recently published theory. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 2976–2984, 2014