Diffusion and permeation are discussed within the context of irreversible thermodynamics. A new expression for the generalized Stokes-Einstein equation is obtained which links the permeability to the diffusivity of a two-component solution and contains the poroelastic Biot-Willis coefficient. The theory is illustrated by predicting the concentration and pressure profiles during the filtration of a protein solution. At low concentrations the proteins diffuse independently while at higher concentrations they form a nearly rigid porous glass through which the fluid permeates. The theoretically determined pressure drop is nonlinear in the diffusion regime and linear in the permeation regime, in quantitative agreement with experimental measurements. © 2009 Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.