Electrostatic and electroviscous effects can significantly decrease the permeability of packed beds which consist of colloidal particles. This results in poor filterability of colloidal suspensions. Electrostatic effects refer to the dependency of the structure of the packed bed on the particles’ tendency to agglomerate or disagglomerate. This tendency is influenced by the particles’ charging and thus the pH and the ionic strength of the suspension. Electroviscous effects relate to the increased flow resistance of the pores due to the setup of a streaming potential when the electrochemical double layer of the particles is sheared off. It is difficult to distinguish electrostatic and electroviscous effects because they are interrelated.
The comparison of permeability measurements of both TiO2 and Al2O3 with a classical permeability model shows that different effects on the permeabilities work.