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Current IssueJuly 31, 2014
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Ask The Expert: Filters: Double or nothing
03/01/2004 
 
Question:

Q: I am doing my Ph.D. studies on filtration. I require some information:

1. What is the effect on pressure drop and flow rate if two cartridges are joined in series to form a single cartridge?

a. Will pressure drop double?

b. Will flow rate double?

2. What is the effect on pressure drop and flow rate if two filter cartridges are placed in parallel?

a. Will pressure drop double?

b. Will flow rate double?

Also, if you could, tell me about some relevent books and literature. Your assistance is highly appreciated.

Stephen Flemming

 

Answer: 

A: When two filters are combined in series and operated at the original flow rate, the pressure drop is doubled if they are the same type of filter. If flow rate is doubled across the combined filters, then pressure drop increases by a factor of four. When two filters are combined in parallel and operated at the original flow rate, the pressure drop is reduced in half if they are the same filter. If the flow rate is doubled across the combined filters operating in parallel, then the pressure drop returns to the same pressure as a single filter operating at the original flow rate. In general, filters should be operated in parallel when possible. Filters are operated in series only when one filter serves as a “guard” for the other filter in a critical application.

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