Pharmaceutical Filtration: Filter Press Methods

Vishal Patel
Filter Press Machine– Use In The Pharmaceutical Industry
Employment Of Filter Press In The Pharma Industry

A filter press machine (also known as a Plate-and-Frame Filter press) illustrates the type of filters that evolved in the 1800s. Generally, the type of filter press used today is commonly known as "Chamber filter press," "Membrane filter press," or "Membrane plate filter." Many industries, such as the food, chemical, or pharmaceutical industries, make goods from liquid-solid suspensions or slurries. Solids and liquids are separated in a Filter Press Machine so that the good part of the mixture can be processed, packaged, or delivered. A "batch" manner is generally used in a filter press process. High pressure maximizes the filtration rate in a filter cloth selection. The filtration process makes a filter cake have low moisture content.

The filter press machine is used in almost every type of industry. There is no industry where a filter press is not required. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. The requirement for filtration is necessary for the pharmaceutical almost as if making it omnipresent in the industry. The Indian Journal of Science and Technology defines filtration as a procedure in which solid granulate matter is taken out. The solid granulate matter is extracted from a fluid, either gas or liquid, using a permeable medium during the filtration process. The process of filtration is required for various needs of pharmaceuticals. The flexible use of filtration makes them a widely used process in the pharma industry.

One should not confuse the process of filtration with absorption. There is a vast dissimilarity between filtration and absorption. The process of absorption happens due to the physical nature of the particles. In comparison, filtration occurs because a membrane is present in the process. In commercial descriptions, absorption devices that employ activated charcoal or ion-exchange resins are filters. However, their use and operation process is absorption, not filtration.

Types Of Filtration In A Filter Press Machine

In the pharma industry, several types of filtration methods are generally used. Filter Press in Pharmaceutical Industry is used for a lot of things. The most common filtration methods used in the Pharma industry are surface filtration, depth filtration, and ultrafiltration. Each filtration process is used for a different process in the industry and has several benefits added to it.

Let Us Discuss Each Filter Press Process In Detail –

Surface Filtration

In a Filter Press Machine, the method of Surface filtration is used to keep the particles on the surface of the matter that is filtered. The particles on the surface of the matter build up over time as the process of filtration in a filter press machine continues. The solid material layer that builds upon the surface level is the "cake layer." The "cake layer" enhances the efficiency of the filtration process. When using surface filters, the initial filtration rate is only 55 percent. However, with the formation of the "cake layer," the efficiency of the filtration process goes up to 100 percent. The surface filtration process in a Filter Press Machine requires occasional maintenance. Since a depletion in the flow eventually happens as the particle collects on the surface of the matter, it requires cleanup. The filtration is the filter Press Machine that is paused during the cleaning of the filter.

Depth Filtration

When materials go down a long road by passing through various layers of filters before exiting the filter system in a Filter Press Machine, it is known as Depth Filtration. Particles, soluble materials, and colloidal materials from the fluid are eliminated through depth filtration. Large particles are initially eliminated during the long pathway of the filtration process. Smaller and smaller particles are eventually eliminated as the material passes through the depth filter.

Filter press machines using depth filtration systems are cleaned using the process of backflow. When the flow of the medium is reversed, it leads to unclogging of the pores in the filer. Depth filtration systems are more expensive than surface filtration. However, depth filtration has a longer life than surface filtration and can be used for a long time.


Ultrafiltration is another common type of filtration method used in the Pharmaceutical Industry. When filter pores are needed to be 0.01 microns in size, the ultrafiltration method is generally used. Apart from removing small particles from the material flow, ultrafiltration also eliminates some viruses or microorganisms present in the flow. Microorganisms such as bacteria or protozoa are generally removed from the flow of the material. In the Filter Press machine, materials that can go through the membrane are known as “permeate materials.” “Retenate materials” are those that are held back by the membrane.

Ultrafiltration is best suitable for separating, concentrating, and purifying certain macromolecules. The filtration process in a filter Press machine gives a high level of purity to its products. In the Pharma Industry, it is mainly used to produce vaccines, plasma, and serum. Low-shear pumps can reduce the shear denaturation of goods in ultrafiltration. The membranes used in this process are asymmetric in shape. The asymmetric shape of the membrane does not allow the debris to get clogged in the membrane. Thus, ultrafiltration in a automatic filter press is more cost-effective for manufacturing biotechnology products. This filtration process is also very beneficial for the production of plasma.

Pharmaceutical Filtration Systems Continue To Be Developed

We can see that filter press use is almost inevitable in the Pharma industry. Multiple Filtration methods are used in different areas of the Pharma Industry. It is up to each application to decide what it filters and determine how it generates its final output. The surface, depth, and ultra filtration have their uses in the industry. As research and technology continue to develop, one can capitalize on new and existing filtration methods to produce better quality goods in the Pharma Industry.

How Does A Belt Filter Press Work?

A belt filter press machine, the most efficient filter press, is used for sludge dehydration by using mechanical pressure in a chemical conditioned slurry.

How To Calculate The Capacity Of The Filter Chamber Of Filter Press Machine?

The separation of solids and liquids is done using a filter press machine. The pressure filtration process is done to divide solids/liquids. A slurry is pushed inside a filter press machine and is dehydrated when subjected to extreme pressure. Filter press machines are manufactured based on the volume and the slurry that needs to be dehydrated.

Why Do We Choose Membrane Filter Presses?

A filter press is used to separate liquids and solids by using the pressure filtration method when put in simple words. A slurry is forced inside the filter press equipment, and water comes rushing out from it due to pressure. The method of filter press has been used since the mid-1800s in many industries such as wastewater, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial, pharmaceutical, metals, and mining.