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Studying Land Applied Biosolids: An Integration Of Research And Teaching In An Environmental Engineering Curriculum

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Combining Research and Teaching

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1035.1 - 7.1035.21



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Paper Authors

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John Duggan

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ASEE Meeting Montreal,Quebec June, 2002 Session #: 1351

Studying Land-Applied Biosolids: An Integration of Research and Teaching in an Environmental Engineering Curriculum Jack Duggan, Ph.D., P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology


The selection of appropriate reuse, recycling and disposal options for biosolids requires an understanding of many factors including the physical and chemical properties of the biosolid, risks posed to potential receptors and applicable regulatory requirements. These options continue to evolve due to new technologies and changes in regulatory requirements. Many “new” options for biosolid reuse and recycling have met regulatory acceptance due to pressures from limited landfill space and advances in risk assessment. This paper is a presentation of how current research in biosolid characterization and biosolid management are being integrated into selected courses in Wentworth’s undergraduate environmental engineering program.

With participation from the Biosolids industry, lecture material, laboratory studies and a Capstone Design project have been developed. The lecture and laboratory studies have focussed on assessing risks posed by the presence of trace levels of organic chemicals. Trace level organic compounds, including 4-methyl phenol, have presented regulatory issues with municipal and industry generators of biosolids. Students have investigated the natural and anthropogenic sources of these organic compounds in biosolid matrices. The Capstone Design project involves the design of a pulp and paper/municipal biosolid blend for use as topsoil at a local quarry that is being developed into a municipal golf course. Critical issues in this design concern nitrate leaching and slope stabilization.

The paper also provides a review of resources that may be used by environmental engineering educators for the development of teaching modules in other topic areas involving biosolids.


Biosolids (better known in the past as sludge) is a product of municipal wastewater treatment. The study of the production and treatment of biosolids is an essential

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Duggan, J. (2002, June), Studying Land Applied Biosolids: An Integration Of Research And Teaching In An Environmental Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10859

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