Removal of heavy metals in vegetative graywater biofiltration columns

Chowdhury, Rezaul and Abaya, Jameelu S. and Tsiksi, Taoufik and Mohamed, Mohamed M. A. (2018) Removal of heavy metals in vegetative graywater biofiltration columns. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 144 (11-Article 04018112). ISSN 0733-9372


This study investigates the performance of laboratory-scale vegetative biofiltration systems in reducing five heavy metals [cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)] from synthetic graywater. Thirty-six biofiltration columns of the same design were constructed, and twelve species of ornamental plants were planted, with three specimens from each species being planted in a single column. The study was conducted for six months in an arid climate. The overall removal efficiency for Zn and Cu was found to be about 98% and 75%, respectively. It was observed that soil Zn and Cu concentrations increased from 11.24 to 26.13 mg/L and from 11.09 to 12.12 mg/L, respectively, after irrigation with graywater. Zn and Cu were mainly removed by soil accumulation and plant uptake, respectively. Both Pb and Cr increased in effluent (about 29% and 6.5%, respectively) and in soil (about 12% and 63%, respectively) after irrigation with graywater, whereas Cd increased in effluent (about 7.6%) but decreased in soil (about 46%). Finally, the plants were ranked and recommended for application based on their performance consistency and effectiveness. The species Alternanthera ficondea topped the ranking, followed by the species Ixora coccinaea, Vitex agnus, Rhoeo discolor, and Jasmine sambac.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 05:40
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 05:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: biofiltration; vegetation; heavy metals; graywater; arid climates
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090701 Environmental Engineering Design
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001461

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