The Potential Growth of Sugarcane in Constructed Wetlands Designed for Tertiary Treatment of Wastewater

Dina Mateus, Mafalda Vaz, Isabel Capela, Henrique Pinho
2016 Water  
This research was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using the bioenergy crop Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane) as vegetation and mineral wastes for filling in constructed wetlands (CWs) designed for the removal of nutrients from wastewater. Four horizontal subsurface flow pilot-scale CWs were monitored during one year: two filled with fragmented limestone and two with clay brick fragments, two planted and two unplanted controls. Sugarcane stalk height, diameter and foliar area were
more » ... iar area were evaluated during the plant-cane cycle along with total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiencies from the wastewater. Sugarcane biomass production was 107 ton/ha for the brick fragments filled CW and 67 ton/ha for the fragmented limestone filled CW. Planted CWs show better nutrient removal efficiencies than the unplanted. Planted CW filled with brick fragments show average efficiencies of 77%˘4% for TP and 60%˘12% for TN, and planted CW filled with fragmented limestone 68%˘3% for TP and 58%˘7% for TN. Results showed that the use of sugarcane as CW vegetation is a viable alternative to produce a bioethanol raw-material without the use of arable land and irrigation water, while it maintains the wastewater treatment capabilities of CWs.
doi:10.3390/w8030093 fatcat:tgyot66srrh5jhjssqsmltnjju