Model sensitivity analysis for biotrickling filter treatment of graywater simulant and waste gas. II

Sybil Sharvelle, Mazdak Arabi, M. Katherine Banks, Fred Mannering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A detailed sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify key parameters for a biotrickling filter simultaneously treating graywater and waste gas containing ammonia and hydrogen sulfide contaminants. Sampling-based approaches were applied to quantitatively assess the sensitivity of both design and intrinsic model parameters. Specifically, the sensitivity of contaminant removal rates under system conditions was investigated. Results suggested that contaminant removal rates can be substantially improved by increasing the fraction of wetted area in a biotrickling filter. Although recirculation flow rate is insensitive when considering liquid contaminant removal, increasing this parameter improves gas removal efficiency and also increases wetted area within the biotrickling filter. Reactor performance can also be improved by increasing gas and liquid residence times. Contaminant diffusivity through the biofilm is an important parameter and should be accurately assessed. This study differentiated key from insignificant biotrickling filter reactor design parameters for the biotrickling filter and provides guidance for similar research applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-834
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008


  • Ammonia
  • Biofilm
  • Fixed-bed models
  • Gas
  • Hydrogen sulfides
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Trickling filters
  • Wastewater management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)


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