Date of Award


Degree Type



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Hung, Yung-Tse

Subject Headings

Sewage -- Purification -- Biological treatment, Dietary supplements, Organic wastes -- Purification, Hazardous wastes, Yeast, Live-liquid microorganisms, Carnation breakfast essentials, Beer yeast, Total organic carbon, Enforcer, Baker yeast, Dietary supplement wastewater, Bioaugmentation


Dietary supplement wastewater contains higher order polysaccharides such as the complex sugars maltodextrin and low fat milk. These complex sugars contain a significant amount of organic carbon therefore, presence of these sugars can pose threats to the environment if discharged without treatment. While many food processing plants are required to send their waste through wastewater treatment, legislation may require preliminary treatment of these wastes in order to satisfy the effluent discharge requirements. Because of the high organic carbon presence, it would be preferable to use biological treatment methods to reduce the organics present within the system. Microorganisms are capable of degrading organic compounds present for the purpose of metabolic processes. Therefore, a series of experiments were conducted between the months of May and October 2009 to determine the effectiveness of biological degradation of carbon within various substrates. Preliminary studies were completed between May and July using LLMO (live liquid microorganisms) and baker's yeast to determine the proper substrate capable of microorganism synthesis. All analysis of total organic carbon (TOC) were performed using a Shimadzu TOC Analyzer. Substrates that were used included Kool Aid, Hershey's Cocoa, Gatorade, flour, potato starch, Slim Fast, and Carnation's Breakfast Essentials however, Hershey's Cocoa and Gatorade were the only substrates that were not used in measuring organic carbon removal. The calibration curves for those substrates did not have an R2 value above 0.89 and therefore were not used for further observations. From preliminary studies, it was determined that Carnation Breakfast Essentials and Slim Fast produced the highest percent removal of organic carbon. However, Slim Fast was not used due to the difficulties of storage. The primary experiment conducted between July and October involved a comparison between microorganisms and the total organic carbon removal from Carnation Breakfast Essentials. Microorganisms invol