Particulate fouling in microchannels is a subject that is largely unexplored. It does, however, have significant implications for all microchannel flows since the hydraulic diameters are very small and consequently are susceptible to excessively large pressure drops. The significant forces for dilute solutions of silica particles ranging from 3 to 10 μm are studied in rectangular microchannels made in silicon with a hydraulic diameter of 106 μm. The effects of zeta potential which is pH driven, lift force on the particulates and their fouling characteristics are evaluated by measuring the pressure drop across the microchannel test section.

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