Magnetic separations have for decades been essential processes in diverse industries ranging from steel production to coal desulfurization. In such settings magnetic fields are used in continuous flow processes as filters to remove magnetic impurities. High gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) has found even broader use in wastewater treatment and food processing. Batch scale magnetic separations are also relevant in industry, particularly biotechnology where fixed magnetic separators are used to purify complex mixtures for protein isolation, cell separation, drug delivery, and biocatalysis. In this review, we introduce the basic concepts behind magnetic separations and summarize a few examples of its large scale application. HGMS systems and batch systems for magnetic separations have been developed largely in parallel by different communities. However, in this work we compare and contrast each approach so that investigators can approach both key areas. Finally, we discuss how new advances in magnetic materials, particularly on the nanoscale, as well as magnetic filter design offer new opportunities for industries that have challenging separation problems. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Applied Mathematics
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering