Date of Last Revision

2023-05-03 12:52:53


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020


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). Bioavailable phosphorus from synthetic fertilizers is one of the major nutrients contributing to this global issue. Preliminary studies indicate 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). Further research was conducted using higher quality concentration measurements to determine what grades of steel wool (0000, 000, 00) and types of activated carbon (GAC, PAC, EAC) and in what combinations are most effective at removing phosphorus, and to determine longevity of filter materials in terms of percent phosphorus removed over time, and percent iron-oxide byproducts produced over time. 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. From the experimental and existing data, a prototypical filtration device was designed and analyzed with regard for materials needed, longevity, regulation, cost, and potential future implementation in two Ohio locations: the Maumee River and the Cuyahoga River.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Stephen Duirk

First Reader

Dr. Hunter King

Second Reader

Dr. Ala Abbas



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