A Sustainable Approach to Nitrate Reduction Using a Stream Denitrifying Biofilm

EPA Grant Number: SU834756
Title: A Sustainable Approach to Nitrate Reduction Using a Stream Denitrifying Biofilm
Investigators: Barone, Justin Robert
Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: II
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $74,152
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2010) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


  1. Design and construct a large-scale bioreactor and implement it into a stream.
  2. Assess the efficacy of the bioreactor under optimum and non-optimum operating conditions.
  3. Assess the economic feasibility of the bioreactor technology by gathering actual construction, implementation, and maintenance costs.
  4. Assess the aesthetic and social aspects of the bioreactor technology.


Undergraduate student design teams will again be assembled to build and test prototype bioreactors based on our original laboratory design.

Expected Results:

Upon completion of the project, we will have discovered:

  1. the optimum overall size and type of packed bed for the large-scale bioreactor,
  2. under what conditions the bioreactor performs the best and worst, and
  3. the aesthetic and social value of the concept.

Relevant Websites:

Phase 1 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2011 Progress Report
  • Final

  • P3 Phase I:

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