Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Guanghui Hua


The main aim of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) based water treatment residual (WTR) in eliminating phosphorus (P), Copper (Cu), and Zinc (Zn) from stormwater. The characteristics of the PAC WTR were analyzed, and a series of batch and column tests were conducted to determine its capacity to remove P, Cu, and Zn from stormwater and synthetic solutions. The PAC WTR conformed to the Langmuir isotherm model, demonstrating P adsorption capacities of 3.51 mg/g at pH 5. Regarding Cu and Zn removal, the PAC WTR also adhered to the Langmuir isotherm model, showing Cu and Zn adsorption capacities of 30.8 mg Cu/g and 54.3 mg Zn/g at pH 5, respectively. The removal of P, Cu, and Zn is better explained by the Pseudo-second-order model. The consecutive adsorptiondesorption column test indicates that the PAC WTR material can be reused for P, Cu, and Zn adsorption. Moreover, the test revealed that the P adsorption capacity is higher than the batch adsorption capacity in the first adsorption cycle, while both the Cu and Zn exhibited lower adsorption capacity than the batch experiment. In the concurrent removal of P, Cu, and Zn from Stormwater, it was observed that even a small proportion of PAC WTR (10%) amendment in sand could significantly enhance the reduction efficiency of P, Cu, and Zn. This study thus established that PAC WTR has the potential to serve as an efficient filter material (or additive) for reducing P, Cu, and Zn in stormwater.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright