A Sustainable Approach to Nitrate Reduction Combining a Riparian Zone with a Stream Denitrifying Biofilm

EPA Grant Number: SU834336
Title: A Sustainable Approach to Nitrate Reduction Combining a Riparian Zone with a Stream Denitrifying Biofilm
Investigators: Barone, Justin Robert
Current Investigators: Barone, Justin Robert , Breighner, Koren , Downs, Jennifer , Flickinger, Joshua , Kesecker, Scott , McAnulty, Mike , Palazzolo, Jessica , Thies, Melissa , Tucker, Alex
Institution: Virginia Tech
Current Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 14, 2010
Project Amount: $9,927
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability , Nanotechnology


We propose a holistic approach combining a biotechnological solution incorporated into a natural setting. We will design a sustainable stream denitrifying biofilm that can be incorporated into a uniquely designed section of a stream to biologically treat water.


We intend to couple a student-designed riparian zone with a biofilm by culturing denitrifying bacteria collected from near the stream. We will then design controlled flows in a laboratory setting to assess the amount of nitrate reduced per square meter for a controlled volume of water at various flow rates based on our design. This can then be used to design full-scale riparian zone/biofilm systems that can be incorporated into the natural stream setting.

Expected Results:

1) an optimum riparian zone design based on native or non-invasive plants to Southern Virginia and expected flow conditions and 2) an optimum biofilm design based on the ability to augment the riparian zone during inefficient times at the same conditions.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Relevant Websites:

Phase 2 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • P3 Phase II:

    A Sustainable Approach to Nitrate Reduction Using a Stream Denitrifying Biofilm  | 2011 Progress Report