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A Portable Stormwater Runoff Collection and Treatment System for Urban Agriculture and Food Security

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2017 ASEE Mid Atlantic Section Spring Conference


Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

Publication Date

April 7, 2017

Start Date

April 7, 2017

End Date

April 8, 2017

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JIAJUN XU University of the District of Columbia

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Dr. Jiajun Xu, P.E. is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Department at University of the District of Columbia. His research interests are Micro/Nanoscale materials for thermal Transport and Energy Conversion, Mechanical Design, Water Treatment techniques, and Multi-scale simulation. His research has been funded by National Science Foundation, U.S. Army Research office, Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Geological Survey.

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A Portable Stormwater Runoff Collection and Treatment System for Urban Agriculture and Food Security

Trinh Vu1, Robert Stephenson1, Tolessa Deksissa2, Ahmet Zeytinci3, Jiajun Xu1 1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of the District of Columbia, DC 20008 USA 2Water Resources Research Institute, University of the District of Columbia, DC 20008 USA 3Department of Civil Engineering, University of the District of Columbia, DC 20008 USA

Abstract With the fast increase of urban population, vast quantities of energy and water are being consumed whilst harmful quantities of wastewater and stormwater runoff are generated through the creation of massive impervious areas. Food security is becoming an increasingly important issue, especially urban residents here in US. There is an urgent need of developing effective and economical feasible solution for the best management practices to minimize storm water runoff, reduce soil erosion, maintain groundwater recharge, and minimize surface water and groundwater contamination from combined sewer overflows. In this study, a novel portable stormwater collection and treatment system is developed, which can harvest and store stormwater from densely populated urban areas and use it to produce food at relatively low costs. This system consists of an expandable storage tank that has a minimum volume and occupied space of 5 cubic feet and can expand to a theoretical maximum volume of 9 cubic feet almost doubling the size of the tank. A mechanical filtration with a filter size of 250 microns and a chemical filtration system made of mesoporous MCM hybrid material with embedded nanoparticles have been incorporated to treat the collected stormwater and the results have shown that this treatment system can effectively removal most sediments, heavy metal contaminants and other pollutants. Overall, this portable stormwater collection and treatment system provides an effective and economical affordable solution to process non-point pollutions, especially the stormwater runoff for urban residents, and it will help reduce food miles (carbon emissions) and virtual water consumption and serves to highlight the need for more sustainable land-use planning.

Key words: Nanotechnology, Stormwater Runoff, Water Treatment, Water Quality

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