Performance of a small scale biological water recovery system

Dean Muirhead, Tony Rector, W. Andrew Jackson, Heather Keister, Audra Morse, Ken Rainwater, Karen D. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate the treatment efficiency and reliability of a small-scale (1/20th) replica of the JSC biological treatment system over an extended period of time (18 months of operation). The two biological reactor components were an anaerobic packed bed for denitrification and an aerobic tubular reactor for nitrification. A recycle line (20X) linked the two biological reactors. Effectiveness of the biological system to treat a waste stream (1 L/day) containing water, urine, and soap (Igepon T42) was quantified by monitoring total nitrogen and organic carbon. Distribution of nitrogen in the effluent was measured and consisted of ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate. Daily concentrations of total nitrogen in the influent varied greatly. The system achieved 50% removal of total nitrogen and 80% removal of the influent organic carbon. The results indicate improved treatment effectiveness and resiliency with time. The biological treatment system was linked to a post processing system near the end of the test period (day 384) to form a pseudo-closed loop. At the end of the test period, the system was exhibiting steady-state conditions with minor manual adjustments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2003
Event33rd International Conference on Environmental Systems, ICES 2003 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Jul 7 2003Jul 10 2003


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