Evaluation of Phytodesalination Potential of Vegetated Bioreactors Treating Greenhouse Effluent
AbstractThe dissolved salt ions that are not absorbed during irrigation of greenhouse crops are gradually accumulated in the nutrient solution resulting in levels of salinity high enough to damage the crops. This water salinity presents operational and environmental challenges as the nutrient-rich greenhouse effluent should be discharged to the environment when deemed unsuited for irrigation. In this pilot-scale study, the potential of passive salt reduction (phytodesalination) in gravel and wood-chip flow-through reactors was evaluated using seven plant species including Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Andropogon gerardii, Typha angustifolia, Elymus canadensis, Panicum virgatum, Spartina pectinata and Distichlis spicata along with an unplanted control reactor. While the unplanted system outperformed the planted units with gravel media, the wood-chip bioreactors with S. tabernaemontani and S. pectinata improved the greenhouse effluent reducing the solution conductivity (EC) by a maximum of 15% (average = 7%). S. tabernaemontani and D. spicata showed higher accumulated contents of Na+ and Cl− in comparison with T. angustifolia and S. pectinata. Overall, S. tabernaemontani was selected as the most capable species in the wood-chip bioreactors for its better salt management via EC reduction and salt accumulation. It was however concluded that further treatment would be required for the greenhouse effluent to meet the stringent irrigation water quality guidelines in order not to pose any adverse effects on sensitive crops. Finally, the present hydraulic residence time (HRT = 3.7 days) and the solution salinity concentration were identified as the potential factors that may be limiting the efficiency of plant salt uptake, emphasizing the need for conducting more research on the optimization and enhancement of passive desalination systems for the greenhouse effluent. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Fatehi Pouladi, S.; Anderson, B.C.; Wootton, B.; Rozema, L. Evaluation of Phytodesalination Potential of Vegetated Bioreactors Treating Greenhouse Effluent. Water 2016, 8, 233.
Fatehi Pouladi S, Anderson BC, Wootton B, Rozema L. Evaluation of Phytodesalination Potential of Vegetated Bioreactors Treating Greenhouse Effluent. Water. 2016; 8(6):233.Chicago/Turabian Style
Fatehi Pouladi, Soheil; Anderson, Bruce C.; Wootton, Brent; Rozema, Lloyd. 2016. "Evaluation of Phytodesalination Potential of Vegetated Bioreactors Treating Greenhouse Effluent." Water 8, no. 6: 233.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.