Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




This research entails the investigation of the effects of a bioaugmentation product from BiOWiSH® called Aqua, referred to as “Aqua” for the remainder of this paper, on the nitrogen removal rate in a membrane aerated bioreactor (MABR). This research was conducted using a MABR design that consisted of a silicone membrane and continuous flow airline with compressed air. The membrane system was designed to supply oxygen, creating an aerated layer at the membrane-biofilm interface and an anoxic layer at the biofilm-water interface. Laboratory experiments were conducted to compare the nitrogen removal rates of natural bacteria alone to natural bacteria paired with Aqua. However, it was not possible to determine if a difference existed between the nitrogen removal rates of the MABR systems with only natural bacteria versus those with natural bacteria augmented with Aqua. The mean nitrogen removal rate observed when the media in the system reached steady state was 0.39 mg-N/L-hr. with a carbon to nitrogen (C: N) ratio of 12:1. The only increase in the nitrogen removal rate observed was when the C: N ratio was doubled to 24:1 and the nitrogen removal rate increased to 0.56 mg-N/L-hr.

Although it appeared that the Aqua did not have an influence on the nitrogen removal rate in the MABR systems, many other variables still need to be assessed to reach a conclusion. To improve the efficiency of the system more tubing should be added, or the glucose should be removed from the growth media because the maximum O2 mass transfer rate is only enough O2 for nitrification. The addition of glucose at 12:1 ratio increased the O2 demand in the system to be five times greater than the O2 supplied from the silicone tubing. This research determined that use of trace minerals, Aqua dosing method, and Aqua dosing concentration were not contributing factors in nitrogen removal from growth media under the conditions of this experiment.