William C. Boyle

Professor Emeritus


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2204 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Ph: (608) 262-1777

Profile Summary

My research has taken my graduate students into a variety of fundamental and applied basis studies of biological pollution control processes and fate of pollutants in the soil and water environment.

Paramount in my research program philosophy is providing students with a sound educational experience in creative, independent fundamental and applied research. Toward this goal we have tried to identify local and national environmental problems that need to be addressed. Much of our funding has come from NSF, EPA, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Current interests in biological transformations of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous have led to a number of projects dealing with the design and operation of cost-effective unit processes. We have studied operational difficulties in biological processes leading to the selection of undesirable microbial populations, including filamentous bacteria in Noncardia. We also have identified factors leading to controlling these organisms. Concern with energy conservation in waste treatment has resulted in the adoption of new oxygen transfer technologies. Our studies have made a substantial effort in identifying accurate and precise methods of measuring oxygen transfer under field conditions and in evaluating the impact of these new technologies on operation, control, and treatment costs.

Currently, approximately 25 percent of all U.S. housing units dispose of wastewater using on-site treatment and disposal systems. A multi-disciplinary program for on-site waste disposal has been underway at UW-Madison since 1970. Our current research focuses on nitrogen removal processes that can be easily and economically operated on-site. These include sand and peat filters as well as ion exchange. We also have been looking at mass transfer of oxygen within the soil below absorption fields.

Currently, we have also received generous funding from Emerson Electric to evaluate water use and environmental impacts due to garbage disposers. Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District continues to support a variety of applied research problems dealing with bionutrient removal, chemical treatment of sidestreams and oxygen transfer analysis.

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