Date of Last Revision

2023-05-03 12:52:54


Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2019


Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a devastating ecological and economic consequence of the abundance of nutrient-rich agricultural runoff entering aquatic ecosystems (Baker et al. 2014). Bio-available phosphorus from synthetic fertilizers is one of the major nutrients contributing to this global issue. Previous studies indicated that dissolved phosphorus can be removed from an aqueous environment when passed through a composite mixture of granular steel wool particles and activated carbon (Erickson, Gulliver, and Weiss, 2007). In this project, we conducted experiments using higher quality concentration measurements to determine what grades of steel wool (SW-0000, SW-000, SW-00) and types of activated carbon (granulated - GAC, powdered - PAC, extruded - EAC) and in what combinations are most effective at removing phosphorus. Additionally, the production of iron-oxide byproducts was monitored as a characteristic of filter longevity. The feasibility of scaling up the proportions of materials was also assessed to determine the safety, health, and environmental regulations of filter implementation as well as to produce an economic analysis and design matrix. It was determined that a combination of GAC and SW-0000, would be the best choice of filter media due to its ability to uptake phosphorus, cost, and ability to trap carbon dust. From the experimental and existing data, a prototype filtration device was designed and analyzed regarding the materials needed, longevity, regulation, cost, and potential future implementation in the Maumee River and the Cuyahoga River.

Research Sponsor

Dr. George Chase

First Reader

Dr. Roya Gitiafroz

Second Reader

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.