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Removal of aluminium by constructed wetlands with water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms) grown under different nutritional conditions.

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  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. mahesh@civil.mrt.ac.lk

Abstract

This article reports the phytoremediation efficiencies of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms) grown under different nutritional conditions for Al rich wastewaters in batch type constructed wetlands (floating aquatic macrophyte-based plant treatment systems). This study was conducted for 15 weeks after 1 week acclimatization by culturing young water hyacinth (average height of 20 +/- 2 cm) in 590 L capacity fiberglass tanks under different nutrient concentrations of 2-fold [56 and 15.4 mg/L of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP), respectively], 1-fold, 1/2-fold, 1/4-fold and 1/8-fold with synthetic wastewaters containing 5.62 Al mg/L. A control set-up of hyacinths comprising only Al with no nutrients was also studied. A mass balance was carried out to investigate the phytoremediation efficiencies and to identify the different Al removal mechanisms from the wastewaters. Chemical precipitation of Al(OH)3 was a dominant contribution to Al removal at the beginning of the study, whereas adsorption of Al3+ to sediments was observed to be a predominant Al removal mechanism as the study progressed. Phytoremediation mainly due to rhizofiltration was also an important mechanism of Al removal especially during the first 4 weeks of the study in almost all the set-ups. However, chemical precipitation and sediment adsorption of Al3+ was a dominant contribution to Al removal in comparison with phytoremediation. Plants cultured in the control set-up showed the highest phytoremediation efficiency of 63% during the period of the 4th week. A similar scenario was evident in the 1/8-fold set-up. Hence we conclude that water hyacinth grown under lower nutritional conditions are more ideal to commence a batch type constructed wetland treating Al rich wastewaters with a hydraulic retention time of approximately 4 weeks, after which a complete harvesting is recommended.

PMID:
17182390
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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