Filtration (Encyclopedia of Science)
Filtration is the process by which solid materials are removed from a fluid mixture, either a gas or liquid mixture. Anyone who has ever prepared foods in a kitchen has probably seen one of the simplest forms of filtration. After cooking pasta, for example, the contents of the pot may be poured through a colander or sieve. (A colander looks like a big pot with holes in it.) The pasta is captured in the colander, and the wastewater runs through holes and is usually thrown away.
Beginning science students often use filtration, too. The solid material (precipitate) formed in a chemical reaction can be separated from the liquid part of a mixture by passing the mixture through a filter paper. The filter paper traps solid particles in the mixture, while a clear solution passes through the filter, down the funnel, and into a receiving container.
Filtration is carried out for one of two general purposes: in order to capture the solid material suspended in the fluid or in order to clarify the fluid in which the solid is suspended. The general principle is the same in either case, although the specific filtration system employed may differ depending on which of these objectives is intended.
In the world outside of chemistry laboratories, a very great variety of filtration systems are available. These systems can be categorized according to the fluids on which...
(The entire section is 1245 words.)
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