Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Diehl, Susan V.

Committee Member

Borazjani, Abdolhamid

Committee Member

Baldwin, Brian

Committee Member

Pote, Jonathan W.

Committee Member

Seale, R. Dan

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Products

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


Contaminated stormwater discharge is a major concern in the United States due to a steady increase of harmful pollutants entering fresh water sources. The many congressional mandates that require local governments to reduce the impact of storm water discharge on the natural ecology have greatly increased the need for economically and environmentally viable solutions to pollution reduction. One such solution is that of constructed wetlands. Previous research conducted at the Sustainable Bio-products Department at Mississippi State University demonstrated the feasibility of kenaf fiber and wood shavings to remove toxins and crude oil from the bio-oil process water. This study proposes to amend contaminated storm water runoff from a biomass to bio-oil conversion facility through a simulated constructed wetland. The constructed wetlands were contaminated with varying dilution levels of bio-oil process water in a series of six phases. It was hypothesized that the contaminated rainwater can be remediated by constructed wetlands and safely released back into the native waterways. This study concluded that there was a significant decrease in biological oxygen demand (BOD) and micro-toxicity over a ten day cycle within the constructed wetlands for the lower levels of contaminated stormwater. A comparative screen of the bacterial community within the wetlands during the contamination process showed a similar trend in species richness and composition for the first three Phases of contamination. There was a shift in richness and diversity for the final three Phases of contamination after ten days within the constructed wetlands. The constructed wetlands were successful at lowering BOD and toxicity levels and achieving permissible pH levels when the concentration of contaminated stormwater was less than or equal to 400x dilution. Much of the BOD reduction was due to volatilization of the contaminated wastewater. When the concentration of contaminated water exceeded 300x dilution, the constructed wetland were only successful at achieving permissible pH discharge levels. Better results may be achievable with longer residence time in the wetlands.