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How Does a Coalescer Filter Work?

Basics of Coalescing Filtration

Coalescer filtration is used to separate liquid droplets and aerosols from both liquid and gas media. Coalescer filter elements are manufactured from specialized materials, including borosilicate micro-fiberglass, synthetic fibers, and thermoplastic resins. Each coalescer filter material is tailored to the particular needs of the application, with a variety of filtration grades for different coalescer functions and media.

When used for liquid/liquid separation, coalescer filters remove water from various petroleum-based liquids such as jet fuel, diesel, and hydraulic fluid. This ensures optimal fuel efficiency and functionality of airplanes, motor vehicles, generators, and industrial equipment.

Coalescer filters are also used to remove oil and water aerosols from compressed air systems. By removing unwanted moisture from the airflow, coalescer filters prevent the buildup of lubricants, condensed water, and oils on pipes, joints, and fixtures. By doing so, coalescer filters ensure optimal efficiency, extend equipment service life, and reduce the need for cleaning and maintenance.

coalescer filter

The method by which coalescing filters remove contaminants is largely dependent on the size of the contaminants you wish to remove. Particles that are greater than one micron can typically be removed through direct contact filtration, while smaller particles may require interception and diffusion. Regardless of the method, coalescing filters operate on the same general principle. Liquid droplets collect on the fiber material of the filter element and coalesce at fiber intersections, creating larger droplets that are pulled to the bottom of the filter element by gravity. As the droplets collect and move down the filter, they grow larger and heavier, eventually falling from the base of the filter into a drainage system.

Since coalescer filtration systems operate within the flow of air or liquid material, they also collect any solid particulate matter that can contaminate your system. This helps to prevent dust, dirt, and other matter from clogging your system. However, it is important to ensure that you have the right kind of filtration setup for your system to avoid clogging the coalescer and restricting the flow of air or fluid. Depending on the application and medium being filtered, a coalescer can be operated independently or incorporated into a larger separation system.

Where Are Coalescer Filters Used?

Coalescer filters are incorporated into a wide variety of applications for everything from oil and gas operations to petrochemical refining applications and fuel filtration. They can be used to separate gas and liquid in oil and gas refining systems to produce final products with high purity. Coalescer filters are also used to protect oil and gas refining equipment from water vapor, which can corrode pipes, storage containers, and other critical equipment.

Other applications that benefit from coalescer filters include fuel filtration in automotive and aerospace vehicles, natural gas dehumidification, and industrial air compressor applications where humidity and particulate matter can compromise system efficiency. They are also incorporated into cabin pressurization systems for airplanes and can be used in virtually any filtration system that requires the removal of submicron liquid droplets and aerosols.

State-of-the-Art Filtration Solutions by Hollingsworth & Vose

Whether you’re in need of compressor filters for your industrial operation or coalescers for natural gas production, Hollingsworth & Vose has the experience and technology to produce cutting-edge filtration solutions for your operation. We are committed to creating innovative systems using the latest material technology, including glass and synthetic media and resin treatments that will meet and exceed industry regulations, environmental standards, and system requirements.

Our cutting-edge coalescer media is uniquely engineered to provide optimal filtration for nearly any system. With H&V’s exceptional filtration systems, you will enjoy enhanced equipment service life, reduced warranty costs, and improved system efficiency. Using personalized analysis of your system, we can customize your filtration medium to meet particular water and oil repellency, synthetic content requirements, and gradient densities for various liquids.

As an internationally recognized expert in filtration technology, Hollingsworth & Vose understands that every system is different. Our seasoned engineers and technicians have the knowledge and experience necessary to produce consistent, superior quality filtration systems to meet even the most rigorous specifications. To learn more about our coalescers and other filtration solutions, contact us today.