Signature AFS Short Course: Introduction to Solid/Liquid Separation, a Four-Part Course

For many years, the AFS has been the go-to source for several foundational short courses. Among them is Introduction to Solid/Liquid Separation, which will be taught in November as a four-part series. The course will be taught by filtration industry veterans Dr. Wu Chen, Dr. Wenping Li, Chris Wallace and Dr. Lin Zhao.

This course is informative and easily understood due to the extensive industrial, practical and teaching experiences of instructors. This course would be appropriate for all job functions, especially those new to filtration or an experienced professional who is looking for more understanding of filtration and competing technologies.

The four-course fee is $625 for members and $695 for non-members. Participants can take individual parts for $245 each per member and $295 each per non-member. The instructors recommend taking all four parts to maximize understanding of the course materials.  Attendees can take the courses on-demand if there are schedule conflicts with the dates.

Course Overview

Part 1, Tuesday, 11/2, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Central: Liquid Filtration
In Part 1, the focus is on liquid filtration, which involves separating solid particles from a liquid via a filtration medium. This introductory course will start from understanding filtration and how it is applied, the role of liquid and particle properties on filtration, key liquid filtration principles and major categorizes of liquid filtration equipment and their applications.

Part 2, Friday, 11/5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Central: Liquid Filter Operation and Design
In Part 2, the focus is on different types of liquid filters, their operation and their design. As there are many types of filters used for liquid filtration, this course will offer attendees insights into all key liquid filters, how they are operated and basic design criteria. Participants will gain a general knowledge of the equipment available in the marketplace along with typical applications

Part 3, Wednesday, 11/10, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Central: Liquid Filtration Media and Filter Aids
In Part 3, the focus is on liquid filtration media. As the filter medium is the critical part of a filter, it is important to learn what types of filter media are available, how they are made, how to test them and how to select them. This course will introduce key filter media and make participants aware of the options available in the marketplace along with some common applications.  Filter aids will also be introduced in this module, as they are commonly used in the industry to improve a filter operation and can serve as a filter medium. 

Part 4, Friday 11/12, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Central: Settling, Centrifugation, Coagulation and Flocculation
Part 4 covers separating methods without using a filter medium, commonly called field separation or in short, separation.  It includes gravity settling, centrifugal separation, and hydrocyclone. These technologies are good options for separating solids and liquids and can complement or compete with filtration technologies. Coagulation and flocculation of particles can improve filtration or field separation and are important technologies for solid/liquid separation. 

Instructors recommend attendees register for all four parts of the course to fully understand all aspects of this 8-hour course. If an attendee has a schedule conflict for one or more of the courses, AFS will send the course handout and link to watch the course on-demand.  Participants who need to watch on-demand, and have questions for the instructors, will have the opportunity to communicate directly with the instructors.

About the Instructors

Dr. Wu Chen is a Principal Research Scientist at Dow. He has over 30 years of industrial experience in solid/liquid and air/gas separation, in both technologies and filtration markets. He is also experienced in project management, process design, bio-separation and membrane processes. He has been teaching this course in numerous organizations for over 20 years. He is currently the chair of the AFS Education Committee and the coordinator for AFS in-person short courses and AFS Virtual courses. He has served as the chair of AFS, on the Board of Directors, conference chair, local chapter officer and on various committees. He was awarded the AFS Frank Tiller Award in 2002, the AFS Wells Shoemaker Award in 2005 and the Fellow Member Award in 2010.

Dr. Wenping Li is the R&D Director of Agrilectric Research Company and is in charge of product development and application, product quality and filtration lab. management. She has 20 years of practical industrial filtration experience. Before joining Agrilectric, she worked with Prof. Frank M. Tiller, the father of modern filtration theory, at the University of Houston from which she built in-depth understanding of filtration fundamentals. She has two patents and over 40 publications, including contributions to filtration sections in Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook and Albright Chemical Engineering Handbook. She served as the AFS chair in 2012. She also has served as AFS Board member, AFS Southwest Chapter officer and AFS conferences co-chair and moderator. She is currently an AFS Board member, Scientific Committee member, and has been the AFS Student Poster Competition Chair for over five years.

Chris Wallace is the Vice President of Technology for Filtration Technology Corporation (FTC) in Houston,TX. Since he joined FTC in 2003, he has been involved in production engineering, application engineering, research and development, and technical sales of filtration and separation products for liquid/solid, gas/solid, liquid/liquid, and gas/liquid applications. He holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. He served as AFS Chair in 2015 – 2016 and currently serves as the Vic-Chair of the Education Committee and member of the Membership Committee.


Dr. Lin Zhao is an Associate Research Scientist at Dow. His work at Dow focuses on solid/liquid separation with five years of practical industrial experience from lab evaluation and filter design to production scale implementation and troubleshooting. He also has experience in major site start-up and operation. Before joining Dow, he obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Ohio State University in Prof. Winston Ho’s research group with the focus on developing advanced membranes for water desalination and gas separation. He joined the AFS in 2015 and has been actively involved since then. He is currently a member of the AFS Publication Committee, AFS Education Committee, and AFS Board of Directors. He also served as an instructor of the short course “Basic Solid/Liquid Separation” at AFS conferences.

Register for all four parts here.

Register for individual parts here.

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