Removal and retention of phosphorus by periphyton from wastewater with high organic load

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The total phosphorus (TP) removal efficiency from organic wastewater (pig farm and distillery wastewater) were estimated by using filamentous green algae (FGA) and benthic algal mats (BAM) treatment systems under laboratory conditions, and the contents of periphyton phosphorus fractions were determined by using a sequential extraction. The removal rates of TP reached 59–78% within the first 8 days of all treatment systems and could achieve average 80% during 30 day period, and the phosphorus removal rates by using BAM was higher than that of FGA. The ability of retention TP of periphyton enhanced gradually, the BAM TP contents were higher than that of FGA, the highest TP concentrations of BAM and FGA were 26.24 and 10.52 mg P g−1·dry weight. Inorganic phosphorus (IP) always exceeded 67.5% of TP, but the organic phosphorus fraction only made up less than 20% of TP. The calcium-binding phosphorus (Ca-P) was the dominant fraction and its relative contribution to TP was more than 40%. The TP was also strongly and positively correlated with the IP and Ca-P (p < 0.01) in periphyton. It showed that the periphyton had a potential ability of rapid phosphorus removing and remarkable retention from wastewater with high load phosphorus.

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