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Water 2016, 8(3), 93; doi:10.3390/w8030093

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

1
Engineering Departmental Unit, Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, Campus da Quinta do Contador, Estrada da Serra, 2300-313 Tomar, Portugal
2
GEOBIOTEC—GeoBioSciences, GeoTechnologies and GeoEngineering, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
Department of Environment and Planning, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
4
CESAM—Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
5
CERENA—Centre for Natural Resources and Environment, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alan Howard
Received: 25 January 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 10 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructed Wetlands Systems and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2485 KB, uploaded 10 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

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 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioenergy; eutrophication; nutrients removal; sustainable technologies; wastewater treatment bioenergy; eutrophication; nutrients removal; sustainable technologies; wastewater treatment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mateus, D.M.R.; Vaz, M.M.N.; Capela, I.; Pinho, H.J.O. The Potential Growth of Sugarcane in Constructed Wetlands Designed for Tertiary Treatment of Wastewater. Water 2016, 8, 93.

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