Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

rhizofiltration Related Abstracts

2 Removal of Heavy Metals from Municipal Wastewater Using Constructed Rhizofiltration System

Authors: S. Gupta, Christine A. Odinga, G. Sanjay, M. Mathew, F. M. Swalaha, F. A. O. Otieno, F. Bux


Wastewater discharged from municipal treatment plants contain an amalgamation of trace metals. The presence of metal pollutants in wastewater poses a huge challenge to the choice and applications of the preferred treatment method. Conventional treatment methods are inefficient in the removal of trace metals due to their design approach. This study evaluated the treatment performance of a constructed rhizofiltration system in the removal of heavy metals from municipal wastewater. The study was conducted at an eThekwni municipal wastewater treatment plant in Kingsburgh - Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The construction details of the pilot-scale rhizofiltration unit included three different layers of substrate consisting of medium stones, coarse gravel and fine sand. The system had one section planted with Phragmites australis L. and Kyllinga nemoralis L. while the other section was unplanted and acted as the control. Influent, effluent and sediment from the system were sampled and assessed for the presence of and removal of selected trace heavy metals using standard methods. Efficiency of metals removal was established by gauging the transfer of metals into leaves, roots and stem of the plants by calculations based on standard statistical packages. The Langmuir model was used to assess the heavy metal adsorption mechanisms of the plants. Heavy metals were accumulated in the entire rhizofiltration system at varying percentages of 96.69% on planted and 48.98% on control side for cadmium. Chromium was 81% and 24%, Copper was 23.4% and 1.1%, Nickel was 72% and 46.5, Lead was 63% and 31%, while Zinc was 76% and 84% on the on the water and sediment of the planted and control sides of the rhizofilter respectively. The decrease in metal adsorption efficiencies on the planted side followed the pattern of Cd>Cr>Zn>Ni>Pb>Cu and Ni>Cd>Pb>Cr>Cu>Zn on the control side. Confirmatory analysis using Electron Scanning Microscopy revealed that higher amounts of metals was deposited in the root system with values ranging from 0.015mg/kg (Cr), 0.250 (Cu), 0.030 (Pb) for P. australis, and 0.055mg/kg (Cr), 0.470mg/kg (Cu) and 0.210mg/kg,(Pb) for K. nemoralis respectively. The system was found to be efficient in removing and reducing metals from wastewater and further research is necessary to establish the immediate mechanisms that the plants display in order to achieve these reductions.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Pathogens, Heavy Metals, Phragmites australis L, Kyllinga nemoralis L, rhizofiltration

Procedia PDF Downloads 88
1 Evaluation of Arsenic Removal in Synthetic Solutions and Natural Waters by Rhizofiltration

Authors: V. Ibujes, A. Guevara, P. Barreto


In this study, the removal of arsenic from synthetic solutions and natural water from Papallacta Lagoon was evaluated, by using the rhizofiltration method with terrestrial and aquatic plant species. Ecuador is a country of high volcanic activity, that is why most of water sources come from volcanic glaciers. Therefore, it is necessary to find new, affordable and effective methods for treating water. The water from Papallacta Lagoon shows levels from 327 µg/L to 803 µg/L of arsenic. The evaluation for the removal of arsenic began with the selection of 16 different species of terrestrial and aquatic plants. These plants were immersed to solutions of 4500 µg/L arsenic concentration, for 48 hours. Subsequently, 3 terrestrial species and 2 aquatic species were selected based on the highest amount of absorbed arsenic they showed, analyzed by plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), and their best capacity for adaptation into the arsenic solution. The chosen terrestrial species were cultivated from their seed with hydroponics methods, using coconut fiber and polyurethane foam as substrates. Afterwards, the species that best adapted to hydroponic environment were selected. Additionally, a control of the development for the selected aquatic species was carried out using a basic nutrient solution to provide the nutrients that the plants required. Following this procedure, 30 plants from the 3 types of species selected were exposed to a synthetic solution with levels of arsenic concentration of 154, 375 and 874 µg/L, for 15 days. Finally, the plant that showed the highest level of arsenic absorption was placed in 3 L of natural water, with arsenic levels of 803 µg/L. The plant laid in the water until it reached the desired level of arsenic of 10 µg/L. This experiment was carried out in a total of 30 days, in which the capacity of arsenic absorption of the plant was measured. As a result, the five species initially selected to be used in the last part of the evaluation were: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), clover (Trifolium), blue grass (Poa pratensis), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and miniature aquatic fern (Azolla). The best result of arsenic removal was showed by the water hyacinth with a 53,7% of absorption, followed by the blue grass with 31,3% of absorption. On the other hand, the blue grass was the plant that best responded to the hydroponic cultivation, by obtaining a germination percentage of 97% and achieving its full growth in two months. Thus, it was the only terrestrial species selected. In summary, the final selected species were blue grass, water hyacinth and miniature aquatic fern. These three species were evaluated by immersing them in synthetic solutions with three different arsenic concentrations (154, 375 and 874 µg/L). Out of the three plants, the water hyacinth was the one that showed the highest percentages of arsenic removal with 98, 58 and 64%, for each one of the arsenic solutions. Finally, 12 plants of water hyacinth were chosen to reach an arsenic level up to 10 µg/L in natural water. This significant arsenic concentration reduction was obtained in 5 days. In conclusion, it was found that water hyacinth is the best plant to reduce arsenic levels in natural water.

Keywords: Arsenic, plant species, rhizofiltration, natural water, synthetic solutions

Procedia PDF Downloads 17