Characterization of Effluent from Biological Trickling Filters Treating Graywater in Advanced Life Support Systems


Six bench scale biological trickling filter reactors were constructed and operated for simulated advanced life support (ALS) graywater recycling. In an initial evaluation, after a reactor startup phase of 40 days, the average TOC removal for six replicate reactors packed with Tri-packs packing material was 65%. A second set of experiments was designed to assess TOC removal using several types of packing material (B-cell and Biobale). It was hypothesized that alternative packing materials would reduce the effects of channeling in the reactors, thus improving TOC removal. However, the TOC removal was not substantially improved during the second set of experiments. Additionally, recirculation rates were varied and effects to TOC removal were tracked. These modifications also did not result in improved reactor performance. Therefore, a partial characterization of reactor effluent was conducted to determine if the plateau in TOC removal was a result of mass transfer limitations from inefficient lateral dispersion of water through the packing material. The results indicate that degradation by-products may not be readily biodegradable in this system.

Description:10 pages

Date of this Version

January 2007



Publisher Identifier:

Habitation, 11(3), 95-104


Cognizant Communication Corporation

ALS NSCORT Project Number

Project 6 - Bio-Regenerative Environmental Treatment for Health-air and water (BREATHe 1)

Project Lead

M. Katherine Banks




Published Materials

Administrative Contact

Dave Kotterman, dkotter@purdue.edu


Copyright 2007 Cognizant Communication Corporation. For more information please visit the publisher's website at: http://www.cognizantcommunication.com


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