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Open AccessArticle

Filter Media-Packed Bed Reactor Fortification with Biochar to Enhance Wastewater Quality

1
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Botswana International University of Science & Technology, Private Bag 16, Palapye, Botswana
2
Division of Water and Environmental Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030790
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 19 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar for the Environmental Wastewater Treatment)
Contamination of water sources by inappropriately disposed poorly treated wastewater from countryside establishments is a worldwide challenge. This study tested the effectiveness of retrofitting sand (Sa)- and gas–concrete (GC)-packed reactors with biochar (C) in removing turbidity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), phosphate (PO43−), and total phosphorus (Ptot) from wastewater. The down-flow reactors were each intermittently loaded with 0.063 L/d for 399 days. In general, all reactors achieved <3 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) effluent turbidity (99% efficiency). GC reactors dominated in inlet PO43− (6.1 mg/L) and DOC (25.3 mg/L) reduction, trapping >95% and >60%, respectively. Compared to Sa (PO43−: 35%, DOC: 52%), the fortified sand (SaC) filter attenuated more PO43− (>42%) and DOC (>58%). Student t-tests revealed that C significantly improved the Sa PO43− (p = 0.022) and DOC (p = 0.034) removal efficacy. From regression analysis, 53%, 81%, and 85% PO43− sorption variation in Sa, C, and SaC, respectively, were explained by variation in their effluent pH measures. Similarly, a strong linear correlation occurred between PO43− sorption efficiency and pH of fortified (r > 0.7) and reference (r = 0.6) GC filters thus suggesting chemisorption mechanisms. Therefore, whereby only sand may be available for treating septic tank effluents, fortifying it with biochar may be a possible measure to improve its efficacy. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater treatment; biochar; packed bed reactor; fortification; phosphorus; dissolved organic carbon wastewater treatment; biochar; packed bed reactor; fortification; phosphorus; dissolved organic carbon
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kholoma, E.; Renman, A.; Renman, G. Filter Media-Packed Bed Reactor Fortification with Biochar to Enhance Wastewater Quality. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 790. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030790

AMA Style

Kholoma E, Renman A, Renman G. Filter Media-Packed Bed Reactor Fortification with Biochar to Enhance Wastewater Quality. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(3):790. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030790

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kholoma, Ezekiel; Renman, Agnieszka; Renman, Gunno. 2020. "Filter Media-Packed Bed Reactor Fortification with Biochar to Enhance Wastewater Quality" Appl. Sci. 10, no. 3: 790. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030790

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