Exploratory study: modification of sludge based sorbents for nutrient removal from stormwater runoff

Nutrients (P, N) in stormwater runoff are a major cause for eutrophication and algae blooms. Kerr Wood Leidal (KWL) is a leader in proving progressive solutions for stormwater management in BC, is seeking to improve the rain garden system to effectively capture the nutrients in the runoff. The proposed project will investigate various chemical activation to produce effective biomass-/sludge-based sorbent. This sorbent developed from sludge will be modified through metal doping and pyrolysis (i.e., chemical activation) to introduced functional groups to the sorbents to effectively capture the nutrients. Activation conditions will be optimized including pyrolysis temperature and during, heating rate, and chemical content. Batch and column adsorption tests will be used to evaluate the efficacy of the produced sorbents. The results will assist the company in improving rain garden design and provide a new solution for KWL to control the nutrients in stormwater runoff.

Faculty Supervisor:

Loretta Li


Chaoyang Yue


Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.


Engineering - civil


Environmental industry


University of British Columbia



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