Evaluation of Growth Media in Trickling Filter Bioreactors 932035
Reclamation of purified water from waste water will be a necessity for self-sufficiency on Lunar and Martian outposts. Biological waste water treatment is advantageous because it has low temperature, low pressure, and low power requirements. Four different media were tested for use as biological growth substrates in bench-top aerobic trickling filter bioreactors in the Hybrid Regenerative Water Recovery Lab at Johnson Space Center. The four media tested included a mixture of open skeleton polypropylene spheres and cylinders, ceramic berl saddles, solid glass beads, and small rocks. The media were tested to characterize the organism inoculation rate; the steady state performance; the response to system upsets; and the column characteristics like flooding and channeling. Results indicate that the ceramic berl saddles performed best with respect to inoculation rate, steady state performance, and response to system upsets. However, when looking at column characteristics, especially flooding the polypropylene spheres and cylinders were the best. This paper will discuss the test set up, operating and data analysis techniques, and test results.