Filtration is a common method of sterilization used in many laboratories. This method differs from other forms of sterilization because it doesn’t involve killing organisms to achieve purity. Instead, filtration forcibly separates unwanted particles from a liquid. To gain a better understanding of how the filtration of liquid in the lab works, continue reading.
How liquid filtration works
During liquid filtration, the liquid passes through a membranous filter with tiny pores. These pores allow the liquid to pass through easily while screening out larger particles. The smaller the pore size, the more particles it will screen out and the more energy is required to push the liquid through. Now that you know how the filtration of liquid in the lab works, it’s time to discuss some of the many different types of liquid filtration methods used in laboratories.
Common types of liquid filtration in laboratories
- Vacuum filtration: Uses a vacuum pump to increase the rate of filtration by creating a partial vacuum to quickly draw the fluid through a filter
- Gravity filtration: A liquid is poured from a higher point into a lower point, where it passes through filter paper that prevents solid impurities in the liquid from passing.
- Multilayer filtration: A liquid passes through several layers of filtering material. The pores in the filtering material become increasingly fine in the direction of filtration.
Applications of liquid filtration
Liquid filtration can be used to eliminate a variety of particles from a solution. Depending on the pore size of the filter, liquid filtration can eliminate viruses, proteins, and toxins. One of the main benefits of liquid filtration is that it doesn’t require any heat like many other sterilization methods do. As such, it’s an ideal solution for applications that involve sterilizing heat-sensitive liquids.
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