A method of separating a first fluid from a second fluid may include prewetting with the first fluid at least one channel defined by a separation device, the at least one channel thereby containing a column of the first fluid along its length. A combined flow of the first fluid and the second fluid may be presented to the separation device, so that the at least one channel is in fluid communication with the combined flow. Fluid pressure may be applied across the combined flow and the separation device, but the applied pressure should not exceed the capillary pressure in the at least one channel. Otherwise, the combined flow may be forced through the separation device. In this manner, the first fluid flows through the at least one channel, and the second fluid is excluded from the at least one channel, thereby separating at least a portion of the first fluid from the second fluid.
Guenther, A., K. F. Jensen, M. Jhunjhunwala, M. A. Schmidt
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
US 20070144967 A1