This article studied how wastewater treatment performance of a short rotation forestry system was influenced by the seasonal operational changes under the extreme Mongolian winter conditions. For this reason, two beds planted with Willow (Salix spec.
) and Poplar (Populus spec.
) trees were operated over a period of two years under two different seasonal conditions: (A) “external winter storage” and (B) “internal winter storage” of pretreated wastewater. For operational condition A, the tree-bed was loaded with wastewater for only 4 summer months. For this operational condition it was considered that the treatment bed was fed with primary treated wastewater, which was stored in a sealed pond during the remaining 8 months. The other Bed B was irrigated throughout the year (12 months) with the same daily loading rate. In winter, the wastewater accumulated as ice in the tree-bed. Bed A, with external winter storage, showed mass removal percentage up to 95%, while the bed with internal winter storage showed mass removal rates up to 86% for pollutants such as COD, BOD5
, TN, and TP. A high yield of biomass was recorded for both beds with slight differences. Based on the results, a design recommendation was developed for full-scale systems of short rotation coppice irrigated with wastewater under various operational conditions, which show these systems to be a viable method for treating wastewater and producing biomass for energy production in Mongolia.
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