Oil and Grease Capture from Stormwater Using Bioretention Media


This research study was completed in 2002.  It was sponsored by the Maryland Water Resources Research Center.  Co-Principle Investigator on this project was Dr. Eric Seagren


Maryland Water Resources Research Center




This study used a specially designed reactor to evaluate the capture and biodegration of petroleum products in a layer of mulch, as in bioretention.  The runoff containing the pollutants was applied to the reactor, which holds the mulch.  The system is closed to allow the capture of any petroleum product that volatilizes.  A mass balance is employed to quantify pollutant removal and biodegradation.

The work has investigated naphthalene and toluene as representative petroleum products, as well as a motor oil.  These compounds are readily captured by the mulch, being removed from infiltrating runoff.  The biodegradation of these compounds occurs within a few days for naphthalene and toluene, and in about a week for the motor oil.  The efficiency with particulate-bound material was also investigated.


Results of this work have been published:

Hong, E., Seagren, E.A., and Davis, A.P. “Sustainable Oil and Grease Removal from Synthetic Storm Water Runoff Using Bench-Scale Bioretention Studies,” Water Environ. Res., 78(2), 141-155 (2006).


This work was completed by MS student Eunyoung Hong.

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March 23, 2006