• facebook
  • twitter
  • YouTube
  • RSS feed
  • 651-201-6000
  • 800-967-2474
  • 711 TTY

NodeFire Save Document
Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Clean Water Fund > Clean Water Research Program > Bioreactor

Optimizing Woodchip Bioreactors to Reduce Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Subsurface Drainage Water

ORGANIZATION: University of Minnesota, Soil, Water and Climate
SPONSOR: Clean Water Fund
AWARD AMOUNT: $200,000
START DATE: June 30, 2016  | END DATE: June 30, 2018 
PROJECT MANAGER: Jeppe Kjaersgaard (Jeppe.Kjaersgaard@state.mn.us

IN THE NEWS: The project was featured on Prairie Sportsman, a Pioneer Public Television program, April 18. View the story on YouTube beginning at 20:50.  View the bioreactor study site and learn more about this unique project from USDA-ARS engineer Gary Feyereisen.

The overall goal is to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of woodchip bioreactors for treating agricultural tile water. The project will be conducted using a unique, replicated field-scale experiment that allows analysis of two variables that have the potential to enhance bioreactor performance. The project is unique in that it will carefully monitor microbial performance using genetic and genomic technologies, and modify properties that facilitate removal of nitrogen and phosphorus. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of bioreactors may reduce the cost and increase adoption of the practice.

The specific objectives of the project:

  • Identify the microbial community composition within the bioreactor. It is expected that the results of this section will aid in identifying and isolating the most efficient nitrate and phosphorus removing microbial populations.
  • Compare nitrogen and phosphorus removal by bioaugmentation (i.e., addition of rapidly-denitrifying bacteria) and biostimulation (i.e., supplementing additional carbon source of acetate) throughout the growing season.

MDA Contact

Jeppe Kjaersgaard
Research Scientist