Honors Theses


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Bachelor of Science


Civil Engineering

Document Type

Honors Thesis


A Guadua chacoensis bamboo biochar, which has shown efficacy for heavy metal, organic and inorganic compound remediation, was tested for its capacity to remove Escherichia coli, heterotrophic bacteria, and total coliform bacteria to determine if the biochar is a viable option for removal of pathogenic microbes in drinking water applications. Two distinct approaches were used to perform this assessment. In the first approach, an axenic culture of E. coli was treated using varying amounts of biochar and E. coli survival was assessed. In the second approach, environmental water samples taken from surface water at the Mississippi State University campus were treated with varying amounts of biochar, and the survival of heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli, and total coliform bacteria was assessed. Results were limited due to various issues and time constraints. One test was successful: the total coliform bacteria test for the surface water sample, in which a numerical decrease in E. coli was observed with an increase in biochar treatment. This decrease was statistically insignificant but coincides with the literature that suggests that biochar can reduce but not completely remove pathogens from water. Given the high standards for drinking water, biochar alone is likely not sufficient for removing pathogenic microorganisms.

Publication Date


First Advisor

Magbanua, Benjamin

Second Advisor

Misna, Todd

Third Advisor

Hoffman, David