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An Automatic Self-Cleaning 5 Micron Fuel Oil Filter. Phase 2

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Final rept. 27 May-26 Nov 99

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This project demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative design that combines centrifugal separation, cross-flow filtration CFF, Dean flow surface cleaning, and back-flush techniques into an effective micro-filtration unit. The centrifugal separation is effective in separating debris which has higher specific gravity than that of the DFM for particles as small as 20 microns. CFF makes use of the shear force parallel to the filter medium to reduce the cake formation on the filter surface, and is especially effective for feed flow with colloidal solids. Dean flow is a secondary flow created in a curved flow passage. The resulting flow profile takes the form of a toroidal vortex. The vortex profile generates a high shear rate which acts to transport material such as colloidal solids and fine debris away from the membrane surface. The combination of these features with an automatic back-flushing device forms a compact, self-cleaning, and continuously operable unit suitable for pre-filtration in Navy shipboard fuel oil systems. A bench-scale model was created which proved that all the features are feasible. The operation of Dean Flow was visually observed and documented photographically. Structural integrity of the housing was investigated with finite element analysis. Variable filter media, including ceramic and polymeric as well as metal filter membranes, were tested specifically for their suitability for fuel oil filtration applications. Parametric studies of back-flush were performed, and quantitative benefits of back-flushing were documented for the candidate filter media. All these tasks were performed to lay the foundation for the development of a prototype with a capacity of 135 gpm in Phase II.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Fuels

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