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Advanced Extraction and Lower Bounds for Removal of Pollutants from Wastewater by Water Plants

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The capacity to reach lower bounds for extraction of pollutants from wastewater by four floating aquatic macrophytes—water hyacinth ( Eichhornia crassipes), water lettuce ( Pistia stratiotes), salvinia ( Salvinia rotundifolia), and water primroses ( Ludvigia palustris)—is investigated. It is shown that the following lower bounds can be established for wastewater purification with water hyacinth: biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), 1.3 mg/L; chemical oxygen demand (COD), 11.3 mg/L; total suspended solids (TSS), 0.5 mg/L; turbidity, 0.7 NTU; ammonia, 0.2 mg/L; and phosphorus, 1.4 mg/L. Also, the following lower bounds can be established for wastewater purification with water lettuce: BOD, 1.8 mg/L; COD, 12.5 mg/L; TSS, 0.5 mg/L; turbidity, 0.9 NTU; ammonia, 0.2 mg/L; and phosphorus, 1.6 mg/L. These lower bounds were reached in 11- to 17-day experiments that were performed on diluted wastewater with reduced initial contents of the tested water quality indicators. As expected, water hyacinth exhibited the highest rates and levels of pollutant removal, thereby producing the best lower bounds of the water quality indicators. Given the initially low levels, BOD was further reduced by 86.3%, COD by 66.6%, ammonia by 97.8%, and phosphorus by 65.0% after 11 days of a batch experiment. The capacity of water plants to purify dilute wastewater streams opens new options for their application in the water treatment industry.

Keywords: aquatic plants; lower bound; reduction; wastewater; water quality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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