ABSMaterials, Inc. developed new filter media to remediate multiple pollutants from stormwater runoff by integrating a novel absorbent material, Osorb®, with embedded reactive metal composites in bioretention systems. Osorb is a patented, chemically inert, silica-based material
that physically absorbs a wide range of organic pollutants from water and reactive metals embedded within the Osorb can chemically reduce and/or remove the captured pollutants. We tested five different Osorb-metal composites as an amendment to two common soil bioretention base media; (1) sand
and (2) sand-soil-compost (SSC) mix among two different bioretention design configurations; (1) internal water-saturated (IWS) design and (2) water-unsaturated design at batch-, column-, and field-scales under both simulated and natural runoff conditions. The simulated runoff consisted of
spiked concentrations of nutrients (i.e. nitrate and phosphate), petroleum hydrocarbon (i.e. motor oil), antifreeze (i.e. ethylene glycol), herbicide (i.e. atrazine), and pharmaceuticals (i.e. ethinylestradiol and triclosan). Results obtained from column- and field-scale experiments showed
that Osorb-metal composites enhanced media are highly effective at removing multiple runoff pollutants including petroleum hydrocarbons (∼99%), nutrients (60-80%), herbicide (∼99%), and pharmaceuticals (∼99%) with excellent hydraulic performance. In general, treatment with SSC
mix and IWS design configuration has higher removal efficiency of pollutants compared to treatment with sand and unsaturated design. This indicates that increased retention of runoff created by IWS zone and high organic matter content in SSC mix facilitate pollutant-degrading microbial population
and increase adsorption capacity of pollutants. Demonstrating more efficient pollutant removal capacity by Osorb-metal composites amended bioretention systems, compared to conventional bioretention systems, is expected to stimulate the implementation of bioretention systems as an effective
stormwater best management practice.
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