Wrightwood gets woodchip treatment right.

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I’m happy to share Olivia Wrightwood’s manuscript, which was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology – Water! Woodchip bioreactors are designed for nitrate removal from agricultural runoff. Olivia’s work evaluated the potential for pesticide removal in lab and field-scale woodchip reactors and aims more broadly to inform best management practices (BMPs) for in-field pesticide treatment. She used a combination of engineering strategies (designing and programming bioreactor controls), field skills (testing environmental conditions in an agricultural setting), and the scientific process (controlled kinetic batch studies) to investigate pesticide removal mechanisms and to ideate design strategies to improve pesticide removal. She found that removal of imidacloprid and diuron are driven by sorption to the woodchips, with a slight signature of microbial activity. She is now building on this work to promote microbial degradation of pesticides in field reactors by stimulating enzyme activity and enzymatic transformation of pesticides.

Olivia Wrightwood sampling in the woodchip bioreactor channels she studied for this project.
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