Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Yeun C. Wu

Second Advisor

Paul N. Cheremisinoff


Seven heavy metals ( Fe+2, Mn+2, Zn+2, Ag+, Pb+2, Cu+2, Cd+2 ) at various concentrations were investigated in a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) system. The experimental data indicated that the degree of heavy metal toxicity in the biological system mainly depended on the ratio of inflow heavy metal concentration to organic loading. The optimal ratio of heavy metal to organic loading was determined on the basis of the maximum removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) under different operating conditions. In addition, the effect of heavy metal on each RBC stage performance was also studied. From the present investigation, it was found that the highest removal of organic substrate occurred in the first stage and then the removal efficiency decreased as the wastewater passed through the subsequent stages. The present study has also found that RBC biomass is capable of adsorbing metals.



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