Filtration is commonly the mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by interposing a medium through which only the fluid can pass. The fluid that passes through is called the filtrate. Oversize solids in the fluid are retained, but the separation is not complete; solids will be contaminated with some fluid and filtrate will contain fine particles (depending on the pore size and filter thickness). Filtration is also used to describe some biological processes, especially in water treatment and sewage treatment in which undesirable constituents are removed by absorption into a biological film grown on or in the filter medium as in slow sand filtration.
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