Performance assessment of pilot horizontal sub-surface flow constructed wetlands for removal of diesel from wastewater by Scirpus grossus

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One of the appropriate development technology options for the treatment of wastewater contaminated with diesel is constructed wetlands (CWs). Throughout 72 days of exposure, sampling was carried out for monitoring of physical parameters, plant growth and the efficiency of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal, as an indication for diesel contamination, to assess the pilot-scale performance. Four pilot CWs with a horizontal sub-surface flow system were applied using the bulrush of Scirpus grossus. The CWs were loaded with different diesel concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.25% (Vdiesel/Vwater). The TPH removal efficiencies were 82, 71, and 67% at the end of 72 days for diesel concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.25% respectively. In addition, the high removal efficiency of total suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were 100 and 75.4% respectively, for a diesel concentration of 0.1%. It was concluded that S. grossus is a potential plant that can be used in a well-operated CW for restoring 0.1% diesel-contaminated water.

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