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Synergistic phytoremediation of wastewater by two aquatic plants (Typha angustifolia and Eichhornia crassipes) and potential as biomass fuel

Sricoth, Theeta, Meeinkuirt, Weeradej, Pichtel, John, Taeprayoon, Puntaree, Saengwilai, Patompong
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.6 pp. 5344-5358
Eichhornia crassipes, Typha angustifolia, ammonium nitrogen, aquatic plants, biochemical oxygen demand, biofuels, biomass production, cadmium, carbon, chemical oxygen demand, fresh market, heavy metals, hydrogen, lead, nitrate nitrogen, nutrients, oxygen, pH, phosphorus, phytoremediation, root systems, roots, shoots, temperature, turbidity, wastewater, water quality, zinc, Thailand
The ability of a mixture of Typha angustifolia and Eichhornia crassipes to remove organics, nutrients, and heavy metals from wastewater from a Thailand fresh market was studied. Changes in physicochemical properties of the wastewater including pH, temperature, chemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total P, TOC, conductivity, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, NO₃⁻-N, NH₃-N, and metal (Pb, Cd, and Zn) concentrations were monitored. In the aquatic plant (AP) treatment, 100% survival of both species was observed. Dry biomass production and growth rate of T. angustifolia were approximately 3.3× and 2.7× of those for E. crassipes, respectively. The extensive root system of the plants improved water quality as determined by a marked decrease in turbidity in the AP treatment after 7 days. BOD content served as a useful indicator of water quality; BOD declined by 91% over 21 days. Both T. angustifolia and E. crassipes accumulated similar quantities of metals in both roots and shoots. Accumulation of metals was as follows: Zn > Cd > Pb. A study of calorific value and biomass composition revealed that T. angustifolia and E. crassipes possessed similar carbon content (~ 35%), hydrogen content (~ 6%), and gross calorific value. E. crassipes contained up to 16.9% ash and 65.4% moisture. Both species are considered invasive in Thailand; however, they may nonetheless provide practical benefits: In addition to their combined abilities to treat wastewater, T. angustifolia holds potential as an alternative energy source due to its high biomass production.