Chemistry Science

Difference Between Filtration and Decantation Explained

There are different methods of cleaning water and make it fit for drinking. Two of the major methods are filtration and decantation. Being a student of chemistry or someone who needs to learn for general purpose, we shall explain the difference between filtration and decantation in this article in detail and shall ensure that we completely remove the confusions.

So in this article, we are going to explain the major differences between the two processes called filtration and decantation. The first major difference is that during the process of filtration, people use a medium to filter or clean water. On the other hand, the process of decantation doesn’t make sure of a medium. Let us cover that ahead in detail.

Filtration: Method and Examples.

Filtration can be described as an act or process of filtering or cleaning something. Usually, we clear any liquid including water and others uses the process of filtration. The basic idea of filtration is that it uses a medium or layers of different mediums to filter a substance. The operation of filtration can either be physical, mechanical, or biological depending on the needs.

Example 1: The first and most common example of filtration is present inside our body and yes, you guessed it right since I am talking about kidneys which are programmed to do biological filtration. When we drink or other fluids, kidneys work to extract waste and useless material while transferring the clean fluids to the body and allowing the wastes to exit through the urinary system.

Example 2: The second example is of brewing coffee where the hot water is passed through the ground coffee and a filter. The liquid coffee which we get will be called the filtrate as a result of this process. On the other hand, using the HEPA filters, the dust and pollen are removed from the air by air conditioners installed in our homes.

Decantation: Method and Examples.

Decantation is the method of cleaning in which we don’t use a medium which has multiple layers and still end up cleaning the fluid. There are many examples of that in the field of chemistry and others so we are going to share some of them:

Example 1: You must have done experiments in your chemistry class where we purify water with the help of sand sediments. Well, in this process, we pour water with the help of a glass rod in the beaker to make sure that the sediments of the sand do not get disturbed a lot. So when we pour water, it passes slowly through the layers of sand living the waste on the top of sand or between the layers while the clean water gets accumulated at the bottom.

I guess that these examples are more than enough to clarify your concepts about filtration and decantation.

Summary of the difference between Filtration and Decantation:

Listed below are the points summarizing the differences between these two terms:

  • Filtration uses multiple surfaces to filter a substance while decantation doesn’t use a medium, especially a multiple-layered one.
  • The filtration in kidneys is an example of biological filtration while cleaning water with sand in a beaker is an example of decantation.

With these definitions and examples, I hope you will be pretty clear about these two concepts. Make sure that you leave us your feedback and keep visiting us back for more interesting content.

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