Plate and frame filter press – Pharmaceutical Engineering B. Pharm Third Semester PDF Notes

Plate and frame filter press

Plate and frame filter press

Plate and frame filter press


• Mechanism is surface filtration

• The slurry enters the frame by pressure and flows through filter medium

• The filtrate is collected on the plates and send to outlet

• A number  of  frames and  plates  are used  so  that surface  area  increases and  consequently  large volumes of slurry can be processed simultaneously with or without washing


• The Filter press is made of two types of units, plate and frames. 

• Usually made of aluminium alloy.

• Sometimes,  these are also lacquered for protection against corrosive chemicals and made suitable for steam sterilization.


It contains an open space inside wherein the slurry reservoir is maintained for filtration and an inlet to receive the slurry.

It is indicated by two dots in description.     


• Frames of different thickness are available.

• It is selected based on the thickness of cake formed during filtration.

• Optimum thickness of frame should be chosen.


The plate has a studded or grooved surface to support the filter cloth and an outlet.

It is indicated by one dot in description.


• Plate supports the filter medium, receiving the filtrate and outlet

• The filter medium usually cloth is interposed between plate and frame

• Plate, filter medium, frame, filter medium and plate are arranged in sequence and clamed to a supporting structure

• It is normally described by dots as so on

• Several plates and frames are employed so that the filtration area is as large as necessary.

• Number of filtration units are operated in parallel

• Channels for slurry inlet and filtrate outlet can be arranged by fitting eyes to the plates and frames, join together to form a channel

• In some types only one inlet channel is formed, while each plate is having individual outlets controlled by valves

Assembly of plate and frame filter

Assembly of plate and frame filter


• Working can be divided into two steps-

1. Filtration operation

2. Washing of cake (if desirable) 

• Filtration operation 

Filtration operation 


• Provide a large filtration area in a relatively small floor space. The capacity is variable according to the thickness of frames and the number used

• Sturdy construction permits the use of considerable pressure difference. (2000 Kilopascals normally used)

• Efficient washing of cake is possible

• Operation and maintenance is easy

• It produces a dry cake in the form of slab


• It is a batch filter, so it is a time-consuming

• The filter press is an expensive filter; the emptying time, the labour involved, and the wear and tear on the clothes result in high costs

• Operation is critical, as the frames should be full, otherwise washing is inefficient and the cake is on the clothes resulting in high costs difficulty to remove

• The filter press is used for slurries containing less about 5 % solids

• Given the high labour costs, it is most suitable for expensive materials e.g. the removal of precipitated proteins from insulin liquors.

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