Cocopeat for wastewater treatment in the developing world. I: Comparison to traditional packing media in lab scale biofiltration columns
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© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.Cocopeat, a by-product of coconut processing plants widely available in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, was studied for its ability to support biological nutrient removal in lab-scale vertical flow columns treating simulated wastewater. Treatment performance for cocopeat was compared to sphagnum peat, a traditional packing medium, and Celite, an inert clay pellet. Removal efficiencies of nitrogen, phosphorus, and biological oxygen demand (BOD) were measured over a period of 325 days. During the treatment period, varying configurations were tested to determine the effect of varying aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic zones on nutrient removal. Overall, similar BOD removal profiles were obtained for cocopeat and sphagnum peat. Slightly more efficient anoxic conditions and a less acidic environment developed with the cocopeat. Up to 75% nitrogen removal was obtained; however, phosphorus removal was not accomplished using the experimental setup, likely due to the absence of a completely anaerobic treatment zone. Overall, cocopeat appears to be a promising alternative packing material for on-site wastewater treatment in Southeast Asia in terms of nitrogen removal.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000995
Publication InfoDanley-Thomson, AA; Gardner, CM; Gunsch, Claudia K; & Gwin, CA (2016). Cocopeat for wastewater treatment in the developing world. I: Comparison to traditional packing media in lab scale biofiltration columns. Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States), 142(2). 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000995. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11464.
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Theodore Kennedy Associate Professor
Dr. Gunsch’s research focuses characterizing and engineering environmental microbiomes. Students and postdoctoral associates in her group apply fundamental concepts from the fields of microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics to environmental engineering applications. Current research projects focus on exploring ballast water microbiomes, exploring correlations between microbial adaptation and evolution stemming from their exposure to contaminants, characterizing the fate of genetica