The role of polysaccharide on the “dead-end” microfiltration of microbial cells is studied. Yeast and blue dextran are used as typical samples of microbial cells and polysaccharide, respectively. The filter cake becomes more compressible in the early periods of filtration and exhibits much higher filtration resistance when dextran molecules co-exist in the cake structure. A cake compression mechanism is proposed to explain the pressure effects on the cake structure and filtration resistance. For the two-component cakes, the dextran molecules deform easily even under a pressure as low as 30 kPa, while significant yeast deformation is observed when pressure is higher than 100 kPa. It is attributed to the depletion of most solid compressive pressures by deformed dextran molecules. The cake porosity data indicate that the cake compressibility is higher under low filtration pressure, and blue dextran plays a significant role on the cake structure and occupies a considerable volume in the cake. A resistance model is also derived for understanding the relationship between the average specific cake filtration resistance and filtration pressure. The cake filtration resistance is determined by the effective volume fraction of each component in cake and nearly the same as that of blue dextran under low pressure.
Separation Science and Technology 46(5), pp.786-793