Hayley Todesco

Cleaning Up Oil Sands Waste

Hayley Todesco, Canada Age Category Award, Local Award, 17-18

This project involved designing, constructing, and testing the effectiveness of sand filters newly applied as bioreactors to the biodegradation of toxic naphthenic acids. Reductions in acid concentrations and development of large biofilms over three weeks revealed that these new bioreactors were fourteen times more efficient than batch bioreactor controls. Application of these inexpensive and sustainable bioreactors could significantly accelerate the detoxification of oil sands tailings.

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