The major problem with the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) algorithm is its lack of a theoretical framework. So, it is difficult to characterize and evaluate this approach. In this paper, we propose, in the 2-D case, the use of an alternative implementation to the algorithmic definition of the so-called “sifting process” used in the original Huang's EMD method. This approach, especially based on partial differential equations (PDEs), was presented by Niang in previous works, in 2005 and 2007, and relies on a nonlinear diffusion-based filtering process to solve the mean envelope estimation problem. In the 1-D case, the efficiency of the PDE-based method, compared to the original EMD algorithmic version, was also illustrated in a recent paper. Recently, several 2-D extensions of the EMD method have been proposed. Despite some effort, 2-D versions for EMD appear poorly performing and are very time consuming. So in this paper, an extension to the 2-D space of the PDE-based approach is extensively described. This approach has been applied in cases of both signal and image decomposition. The obtained results confirm the usefulness of the new PDE-based sifting process for the decomposition of various kinds of data. Some results have been provided in the case of image decomposition. The effectiveness of the approach encourages its use in a number of signal and image applications such as denoising, detrending, or texture analysis.