Dynamics of Pore Fouling by Colloidal Particles at the Particle Level

Benjamin Dersoir, Andrew Schofield, Matthieu Robert-de-Saint-Vincent, Herve Tabuteau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Particle filtration occurs whenever particles flow through porous media such as membrane. Progressive capture or deposition of particles inside porous structure
often leads to complete, and generally unwanted, fouling of the pores. Previously there has been no experimental work that has determined the particle dynamics of such a process at the pore level, since imaging the particles individually within the pores remains a challenge. Here, we overcome this issue by flowing fluorescently dyed particles through a model membrane, a microfluidic filter, imaged by a confocal microscope. This setup allows us to determine the temporal evolution of pore fouling at the particle level, from the first captured particle up to complete blocking of the pore. We show that from the very beginning of pore fouling the immobile particles inside the pore significantly participate in the capture of other flowing particles. For the first time it is determined how particles deposit inside the pore and form aggregates that eventually merge and block the pore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-424
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Early online date10 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2018


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