Lessons learnt from a pilot study on residual dye removal by an aerated treatment wetland.


Iridra Srl, Via La Marmora 51, 50121 Florence, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


Treatment wetlands (TWs) have shown good capacity in dye removal from textile wastewater. However, the high hydraulic retention times (HRTs) required by these solutions and the connected high area requirements, remain a big drawback towards the application of TWs for dye treatment at full scale. Aerated TWs are interesting intensified solutions that attempt to reduce the TW required area. Therefore, an aerated CW pilot plant, composed of a 20 m2 horizontal subsurface flow TW (HF) and a 21 m2 Free Water System (FWS), equipped with aeration pipelines, was built and monitored to investigate the potential reduction of required area for dye removal from the effluent wastewater of a centralized wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). During a 8 months long study, experimenting with different hydraulic retention times (HRTs - 1.2, 2.6 and 3.5 days) and aeration modes (intermittent and continuous), the pilot plant has shown a normal biological degradation for organic matter and nutrients, while the residual dye removal has been very low, as demonstrated by the absorbance measure at three wavelengths: at 426 nm (blue) the removal varies from -55% at influent absorbance of 0.010 to 41% at 0.060; at 558 nm (yellow) the removal is negative at 0.005 (-58%) and high at higher influent concentrations (72% at 0.035 of absorbance for the inlet); at 660 nm (red) -82% of removal efficiency was obtained at influent absorbance of 0.002 and 74% at 0.010. These results are a consequence of the biological oxidation processes taking place in the WWTP, so that the residual dye seems to be resistant to further aerobic degradation. Therefore, TWs enhanced by aeration can provide only a buffer effect on peak dye concentrations.


Aerated wetland,Constructed wetland,Dye removal,Residual dye,Textile wastewater,Treatment wetland,