This paper investigates the relative roles of particle deposition and detachment in controlling the origin of filter effluent particles. A conceptual mathematical model was developed and laboratory-scale experiments were conducted. Laboratory experiments were performed using three sizes of fluorescent microspheres (FMs), to determine the fraction of filter effluent particles that are filter influent particles that were never removed, as well as the fraction of filter effluent particles that were detached after deposition. Experimental results indicated that particle detachment is significant beginning from the early phase of filtration. FM removal increased with filter run time, depth and particle size. For each size FM at one filter depth, FM removal increased with filter runtime to a maximum due to ripening and then decreased with filter runtime after ripening due to limited pore space remaining in the filter. The fraction of effluent particles that were detached particles increased with particle size and filter bed depth.

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