Biochar as an Alternative Media to Improve Stormwater Treatment Performance

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dc.contributor.advisor Sarmah, AK en Dawkings, Kate en 2017-02-15T22:45:31Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Biochar is a carbonaceous material which has potential to adsorb or filter contaminants due to its high specific surface area, microporosity and surface functionality. Although several studies have been conducted using biochar as a soil amendment and an absorbent for water and wastewater treatment, there has been little research into biochar’s potential use as a stormwater media. Heavy metals and nutrients transported in stormwater runoff can have significant detrimental effects on environmental and human health. Research into alternative stormwater media is required as traditional media such as sand offer limited removal mechanisms, while the soil and compost mixtures used in more complex vegetated systems can result in a nett export of contaminants. This thesis investigated the potential of biochar to remove copper, lead, zinc, nitrogen and phosphorus from aqueous solution. The two biochars used in this work were derived from pine sawdust (PSD) and mineral enhanced poultry litter (EPL) pyrolysed at 450°C. Biochar physiochemical properties were assessed to identify potentially beneficial characteristics for stormwater treatment. The ability of each biochar to remove contaminants from aqueous solution was represented using linear, Freundlich and Langmuir isotherm models. It was found that individual contaminant adsorption to biochar was well described by the Freundlich isotherm model. However, when contaminants were investigated in coexistence, complex solution interactions such as adsorption site competition and chemical precipitation resulted in significantly different results compared to individual contaminant experiments. The overarching aim of this research was to evaluate whether biochar can be used as an amendment to improve the treatment performance of sand and bioretention media. Column experiments suggested that amendment with 4% PSD by weight could significantly improve the contaminant removal performance of sand and offer minor improvement for bioretention media (which had high removal rates without amendment). Amendment with 4% EPL resulted in superior removal of all contaminants except for phosphate-P which showed significant leaching. Further study using complex media and solute systems is required to enable the large scale application of this research. This thesis discussed environmental, economic and safety considerations for the amendment of stormwater media with biochar and identified future research requirements. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264934212702091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title Biochar as an Alternative Media to Improve Stormwater Treatment Performance en
dc.type Thesis en Environmental Engineering en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 612723 en Engineering en Civil and Environmental Eng en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-02-16 en

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