Journal article

Inside Story of Gas Processes within Stormwater Biofilters: Does Greenhouse Gas Production Tarnish the Benefits of Nitrogen Removal?

Emily GI Payne, Tracey Pham, Perran LM Cook, Ana Deletic, Belinda E Hatt, Tim D Fletcher



Stormwater biofilters are dynamic environments, supporting diverse processes that act to capture and transform incoming pollutants. However, beneficial water treatment processes can be accompanied by undesirable greenhouse gas production. This study investigated the potential for nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) generation in dissolved form at the base of laboratory-scale stormwater biofilter columns. The influence of plant presence, species, inflow frequency, and inclusion of a saturated zone and carbon source were studied. Free-draining biofilters remained aerobic with negligible greenhouse gas production during storm events. Designs with a saturated zone were oxygenated at their base..

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Awarded by ARC Linkage project undertaken at Monash University

Awarded by ARC Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This paper presents results from an ARC Linkage project (LP0990153) undertaken at Monash University with funding and generous support from the Australian Research Council, Western Australian Department of Water (Antonietta Torre and Tania Liaghati) and Melbourne Water (Marion Urrutiaguer). Fletcher was supported by an ARC Future Fellowship (FT100100144) during part of this study. We would like to also thank Richard Williamson, Frank Winston, Tony Brosinsky, Christelle Schang, Jennifer Read, Tina Hines, Keralee Browne, Vera Eate, and David Chandler for their invaluable assistance with this project. The authors also sincerely thank Dr. Peter Groffinan and Dr. Pascal Molle for their valuable insights and suggestions to improve the paper content during thesis examination and the anonymous peer reviewers who provided considered and helpful advice to significantly enhance this manuscript.