Best Management Practices (BMPs) in stormwater treatment are a suite of treatment alternatives to deal with pollutant removal problems from stormwater runoff. Biosorption-activated media (BAM) are green sorption media consists of recycled materials have shown excellent nutrient removal as an effective BMP by enhancing physicochemical and microbiological processes. In this study, Iron-Filling Green Environmental Media (denoted as IFGEM-3) and Advanced Green Environmental Media 1 and 2 (denoted as AGEM-1 and AGEM-2) were produced and tested for their adsorption capacities as well as removal and recovery potential for phosphate, nitrate, and ammonia against natural soil (baseline) collected from a stormwater retention basin in Ocala, FL. A set of isotherm and column tests were conducted at room temperature with varying contact times. Two media with the best adsorption performances were further tested to determine their life expectancy. The green sorption media characteristics and adsorption behaviors were further analyzed and realized by using a few existing isotherm models. The collected data on physical properties such as hydraulic conductivity, porosity, surface area, and density help justifying the comparative results. The results showed that AGEM-2 has the highest average nitrate removal efficiency (76.55%) when compared to IFGEM-3 (39.0%) and AGEM-1 (33.67%). Furthermore, IFGEM-3, AGEM-1 and AGEM-2 achieved the highest phosphate removals after only 30 minutes of contact time. It is indicative that IFGEM-3, AGEM-1 and AGEM-2 media all produced ammonia and the rates of production consistently increase as contact time increases. However, AGEM-2 generated an average of 35.22% more ammonia than IFGEM-3 and AGEM-1 suggesting it can be further utilized as a soil amendment. Natural soil showed no nutrient removal, however. The maximum adsorption capacities (qmax) derived by the isothermal test at high influent concentrations of 2mg/L phosphate and 2mg/L nitrate were found to be less than the qmax obtained from the column tests for IFGEM-3 and AGEM-2 with respect to nitrate. IFGEM-3 and AGEM-2 were further tested with respect to nitrate for their maximum adsorption capacities and their life expectancies based on column tests. The results indicated that AGEM-2 has a longer life expectancy and a higher adsorption capacity than IFGEM-3, in terms of nitrate removal, which is consistent with isotherm results. It is recommended that AGEM-2 be selected for nutrient removal in future stormwater treatment based on its better adsorption performance and recovery potential.


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Graduation Date





Chang, Ni-bin


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering









Release Date

December 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)