Nitrogen and Phosphorous removal

[Effect of intermittent artificial aeration on nitrogen and phosphorus removal in subsurface vertical-flow constructed wetlands]

[Article in Chinese]

Tang XQ, Li JZ, Li XJ, Liu XG, Huang SL.

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China. anbition@mail.nankai.edu.cn

Abstract

Shale and T. latifolia were used as subsurface vertical-flow constructed wetland substrate and vegetation for eutrophic Jin River water treatment, and investigate the effect of intermittent aeration on nitrogen and phosphorus removal. In this study, hydraulic loading rate was equal to 800 mm/d, and ratio of air and water was 5:1. During the entire running period, maximal monthly mean ammonia-nitrogen (NH4+ -N), total nitrogen (TN), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) removal rates were observed in August 2006. In contrast to the non-aerated wetland, aeration enhanced ammonia-nitrogen, total nitrogen, soluble reactive phosphorus and total phosphorus removal: 10.1%, 4.7%, 10.2% and 8.8% for aeration in the middle, and 25.1%, 10.0%, 7.7% and 7.4% for aeration at the bottom of the substrate, respectively. However, aeration failed to improve the nitrate-nitrogen removal. During the whole experimental period, monthly mean NO3(-) -N removal rates were much lower for aerated constructed wetlands (regarding aeration in the middle and at the bottom) than those for non-aerated system. After finishing the experiment, aboveground plant biomass (stems and leaves) of T. latifolia was harvested, and its weight and nutrient content (total nitrogen and total phosphorus) were measured. Analysis of aboveground plant biomass indicated that intermittent aeration restrained the increase in biomass but stimulated assimilation of nitrogen and phosphorus into stems and leaves. Additional total nitrogen removal of 11.6 g x m(-2) and 12.6 g x m(-2) by aboveground T. latifolia biomass for intermittent artificial aeration in the middle and at the bottom of the wetland substrate, respectively, was observed.

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