Degradation of dissolved organic matter in effluent of municipal wastewater plant by a combined tidal and subsurface flow constructed wetland

Hongjie Gao , Chunjian Lyu , Ruixia Liu , Xiaojie Li , Yonghui Song


Received October 13, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 14, 2020, Available online February 05, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 171-181

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important constituent of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. A novel combined tidal and subsurface flow constructed wetland (TF-SSF-CW) of 90 L was constructed for a ten-month trial of advanced treatment of the WWTP effluent. Excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy, parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis and a two end-member mixing model were employed to characterize the composition and removal process of the effluent DOM (EfOM) from the WWTP. The results showed that the TF-SSF-CW performed an efficient EfOM removal with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal rate of 88% and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) removal rate of 91%. Further analysis demonstrated that the EfOM consisted mainly of two protein moieties and two humic-like groups; protein moieties (76%) constituted the main content of EfOM in raw water and humic-like groups (57%) became the dominating contributor after treatment. The EfOM from the WWTP was mainly of aquatic bacterial origin and evolved to a higher proportion of terrigenous origin with higher humification in the TF-SSF-CW effluent. A common controlling treatment-related factor for determining the concentrations of the same kind of substances (protein groups or humic-like groups) was revealed to exist, and the ratio of removal rates between the same substances in treatment was calculated. Our study demonstrates that the TF-SSF-CW can be a novel and effective treatment method for the EfOM from WWTPs, and is helpful for understanding of the character of EfOM in wetland treatment.

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