Major

Environmental Engineering

Anticipated Graduation Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

The Brookfield Zoo (BZ) has been experiencing algal growth in the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit pools. BZ employees currently drain, scrub, and refill the pools every six weeks, which wastes water. A design that increases water conservation would better fulfill BZ’s mission of environmental sustainability. We propose a denitrifying attached growth bioreactor for BZ’s current wastewater system. The high ratio of surface area in the bioreactor compared to the pool walls will encourage biofilm to grow within the reactor at a higher rate than in the pools and the biofilm growing inside will uptake nutrients that the algae feeds on.

Community Partners

The Brookfield Zoo

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Gajan Sivandran, Advisor, Engineering Science; Dr. Gail Baura, Director, Engineering Science; Dr. Rodney Dale, Professor, Biology Department; Dr. Jeremy Rtizert, Professor, Biology Department; Zach Waickman, Researcher, Biodiesel Lab; Dr. Timothy Hoellein, Professor, Biology Department; Dr. John Kelly, Professor, Biology Department; Dr. Christopher Peterson, Professor, Biology Department

Supported By

Dave Derk, John Kanzia, Dr. Tom Meehan, Anne Nichols, Amy Roberts, Scott Ryan, Doug Szarzynski, Sponsors, Brookfield Zoo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Denitrifying Attached Growth Bioreactor

The Brookfield Zoo (BZ) has been experiencing algal growth in the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit pools. BZ employees currently drain, scrub, and refill the pools every six weeks, which wastes water. A design that increases water conservation would better fulfill BZ’s mission of environmental sustainability. We propose a denitrifying attached growth bioreactor for BZ’s current wastewater system. The high ratio of surface area in the bioreactor compared to the pool walls will encourage biofilm to grow within the reactor at a higher rate than in the pools and the biofilm growing inside will uptake nutrients that the algae feeds on.