Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

R. Scott Summers

Second Advisor

Anglea Bielefeldt

Third Advisor

Eric Dickenson


The goals of this study were to evaluate literature for trends in trace organic contaminant removal by biofiltration and experimentally compare bench- and pilot-scale biofilter performance. From the analysis of literature data, inert media types (sand, anthracite, etc.) showed a trend of increasing removal with increasing empty bed contact time, while granular activated carbon media did not show significant differences in removal with EBCT. Experimental removal for five out of 14 compounds did not fall into expected ranges created from the literature review, likely due to the variability of the data included in the literature review. Disparities between large-scale data generalizations and the observed experimental removal confirm the site-specific nature of biofiltration. Only two compounds showed significant differences in removal between the bench- and pilot-scale filters. The results presented in this study are consistent with the literature review analysis and suggest that a bench-scale experiment can replicate pilot-scale removal performance.