In this study, laboratory wastewater containing organic matters, heavy metals and aromatic compounds, was treated by vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) as a phytoremediation method to remove the above three groups of pollutants. Sewage effluent, as a source of nutrient supply for plant growth, was firstly fed to two wetland systems: mini horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) and floating raft (FR) wetlands. Next, laboratory wastewater was added gradually to mix with sewage. Nominal hydraulic retention time in both wetlands are 12 hours. Pollutants removal efficiencies were monitored. Microbial community change corresponding with each stages of sewage only and mixture with laboratory wastewater was also examined. The examined microbial community includes Nitrogen-fixing (N-fixing) bacteria, Phosphate-solubilizing (P-solubilizing) microorganism, Pseudomonas sp., and Zoogloea sp.
In HSSF wetland, base materials (gravel and sand), algae, and vetiver root were in turn investigated for pollutant removal efficiencies. The results reveal that even with the presences of heavy metals and aromatic compounds, vetiver presented reasonable removal efficiencies of about 62%, 68.6%, and 58.3% for BOD, TN, and TP removal, respectively. Base materials showed almost no effect on pollutant removal. Algae was slightly responsible for approximate 6.3%, 16.6%, and 19.7% of BOD, TN, and TP removals, respectively. On the other hand vetiver roots, in term of heavy metals, had an impressive removal efficiencies of 99.2, 95.8, 96.2, and 96.7% of Cr+6 (in K2Cr2O7), Mn (MnSO4), Fe (FeSO4), and Cu (CuSO4), respectively. For aromatic compounds, the wetland is responsible for 96.8 and almost 100% of correspondingly phenol and benzene removal efficiencies. For microbial aspect, N-fixing microorganisms (e.g. Azospirillum sp., Azotobacter sp.) and Phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (Bacillus sp.) increased gradually in population during domestic wastewater feeding stage. When laboratory wastewater was added, N-fixing and P-solubilizing bacteria were quantitatively decreased slightly while population of Pseudomonas sp. increased. Besides, Zoogloea sp. was also found increasing through out the experiment and keeping a stable growth even during laboratory wastewater adding.
In FR wetland, both algae and vetiver root were also investigated for BOD and aromatic compounds and heavy metals. The outcomes show similar tendencies in treatment and microbial behaviours as in HSSF wetland. Vetiver grass, mainly responsible for organic matters and nutrients removal, presented slightly lower removal efficiencies than those in HSSF wetland. The average values of removal efficiencies are 59%, 63.5%, and 53.0% for BOD, TN, and TP removal, respectively. Algae, also, took minor responsibility for approximate 3.3%, 9.1%, and 8.9% of BOD, TN, and TP removals, respectively. Heavy metals of Cr+6 (in K2Cr2O7), Mn (MnSO4), Fe (FeSO4), and Cu (CuSO4) were found removing less than in HSSF wetland with average removal efficiencies values of 92.4, 85.1, 91.8, and 91.5%, respectively, by
vetiver root. Algae show almost no effect on heavy metals and aromatic removals. The vetiver root likewise plays important role in phenol and benzene removals with values of 91.5 and 96% in efficiency, respectively. N-fixing and P-solubilizing microorganisms, Pseudomonas sp., and Zoogloea sp. presented similar responses tendencies to different living condition when domestic and laboratory wastewaters, in turn, were fed.
Vetiver, wastewater, hydraulic retention time, phytoremediation, laboratory, microorganism
6th International Conference on Vitiver (ICV6), Da Nang, Vietnam, May 5-8th 2015