The analysis and interpretation of agricultural wastewater treatment data

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Godfrey Gayle, Ph.D.


Department of Chemical, Biological and Bioengineering; Biological Engineering

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Biological Engineering


In North Carolina alone, there are 2,100 hog farms containing 9.7 million pigs that produce about 10 billion pounds of waste a year. This waste is often transported, stored, and treated in lagoons near the hog houses. This large amount of waste in the lagoon produces an intense odor primarily caused by a chemical called Para Cresol (P-cresol). In this experiment, we will use a constant amount of commercial granular activated carbon to adsorb various amounts of P-cresol in varying temperatures. The activated carbon, with its porous large surface area and favorable chemistry, will adsorb the P-cresol via chemisorption and intra-particle diffusion. With the results from the lab experiments, I used Rstudio, QGIS, and data driven analysis to identify the optimal temperature, pH and amount of Para-Cresol that pairs best with the constant amount of activated carbon used. My findings showed that from six different concentrations of P-cresol (100, 150, 200, 250, 500, and 1000ppm) 1g of activated carbon will deplete P-cresol at a concertation of 500ppm at a faster rate than the other concentrations. I also concluded that from 15, 25, and 35˚C, the optimal temperature for effective carbon is 35˚C. While these optimal characteristics were found under controlled limits, data driven predictions that best fit the needs of consumers are underway.

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