Prediction of optimum membrane design: Pore entrance shape and surface potential

W. Richard Bowen, Adel O. Sharif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Particle rejection in membrane microfiltration and ultrafiltration depends on a balance between hydrodynamic and electrostatic forces. This balance defines a critical filtration velocity, which should be maximised to give fast process operation. The paper presents a quantification of the effects of pore entrance shape and membrane surface potential on these forces and on critical velocity. Three different shapes have been considered, sharp corner; rounded; and spiky. The effect of different surface potentials on the front face of the membrane and the pore wall are also considered. Repulsive electrostatic forces are found to be greatest for the spiky pore entrance. However, the greatest critical velocity is achievable for the rounded pore entrance. For such a rounded pore entrance, the benefits of a high surface potential on both the front surface of the membrane and the pore wall have been quantified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2002



  • Membrane
  • Microfiltration
  • Pore entrance shape
  • Rejection
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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