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Controls Influencing The Treatment Of Excess Agricultural Nitrate With Denitrifying Bioreactors

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Abstract

Denitrifying bioreactors encourage reduction of excess nitrogen, specifically nitrate and nitrite (NOx), in agricultural runoff. This study used lab-scale and in-situ field reactors to determine the effectiveness of bioreactors in central New York and controls that may optimize the process. Lab reactors removed up to 10.0 mg L-1 NOx-N and 19.8 g N m-3 d-1. Three factors tested, inflow NOx concentration, inflow pH, and residence time, were significant. The field bioreactors showed significant concentration reduction (up to 8.2 mg L-1 NOx-N) but insignificant load reduction in most sites. The load removal rates were lower than found in the lab, possibly due to varied environmental conditions. Neither lab nor field data showed significant difference for bioreactor media, comparing only woodchips with woodchips and biochar. Based on positive identification of controlling factors, improvements to field reactor design could significantly improve bioreactor technology and improve water quality in agricultural areas of New York.

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2015-08-17

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denitrification; agriculture; biochar

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Committee Chair

Walter,Michael Todd

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Richardson,Ruth E.

Degree Discipline

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Degree Name

M.S., Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Degree Level

Master of Science

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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