Particle size and chemical effects on contact filtration performance

John E. Tobiason, Gordon S. Johnson, Paul K. Westerhoff, Balasubramaniam Vigneswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This work involves a laboratory-scale investigation of the effects of suspended particle size and coagulant type on the performance of contact or inline direct filtration (no flocculation). Dilute monodisperse and polydisperse suspensions of polystyrene particles (0.27-, 1.24-, 1.32-, and 10-1xm diameters) were applied to shallow beds of 0.4-mm glass-bead filter media after destabilization with either cationic polymer or calcium chloride. The particle removal and head-loss results show dramatic effects of particle size on filtration performance. Submicron particles significantly improve the removal of larger particles in mixed size suspensions and also dominate head-loss development. Head-loss development is typically linear with time and for mixed suspensions is the same as, or somewhat lower than, head loss for monodisperse suspensions of the smaller-sized particle. Polymer destabilization generally causes more head loss than calcium chloride destabilization for a similar extent of particle deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-539
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)


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