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Exploring Utilization of Recycled Agricultural Biomass in Constructed Wetlands: Characterization of the Driving Force for High-Rate Nitrogen Removal

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DOI

  • Lixia Jia, Northwest AandF University
  • ,
  • Enfang Gou, Harbin Institute of Technology
  • ,
  • Hai Liu, Tsinghua University
  • ,
  • Shaoyong Lu, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
  • ,
  • Shubiao Wu
  • Haiming Wu, Northwest AandF University

Improper treatment of various wastewaters with a low C/N ratio and management of abundant agricultural wastes may pose a serious threat to bodies of water and agricultural ecosystems in rural areas, especially in developing countries. Thus, a potential alternative for simultaneous mitigation of this pollution is needed to protect rural environments. This study investigated the feasibility and enhanced performance of applying typical agricultural wastes (such as wheat straw, apricot pits, and walnut shells) as carbon sources for nitrogen removal in constructed wetlands (CWs). The leaching experiment employed fluorescence excitation-emission spectrophotometry and revealed that the wheat straw material had the highest capability of carbon release with an average dissolved organic carbon release content and rate of 27.88 mg g -1 and 5.24 mg g -1 day -1 , respectively. Dissolved organic matter released from different agricultural wastes mainly consisted of humic acid-like and fulvic acid-like compounds. Long-term assessment of lab-scale intermittent aeration CWs receiving agricultural wastes revealed a high total nitrogen removal of 66.75-93.67% in low carbon/nitrogen ratio wastewaters (C/N = 3). These findings can contribute to a better understanding of the driving mechanism through which agricultural wastes enhance nitrogen removal in CW wastewater treatments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume53
Issue3
Pages (from-to)1258-1268
Number of pages11
ISSN0013-936X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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