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Pesticides removal by wetland plants

Tao Lv, PhD student

Hans Brix, Professor

Constructed wetland systems have been found to be able to remove various pollutants and nutrients from wastewater as a cost-effective, extensive, and efficient alternative biological technology [1, 2]. Additionally, it has been documented that wetland plants not only play an important role on pollutants removal, such as nitrogen, COD and phosphors, but also have a positive effect on some organic contaminants removal [3, 4].

Though there is generally little proof that the plants themselves are degrading the organic micro-contaminants, planted systems show higher removal rates than non-planted ones [4]. The underlying mechanisms associated with the micro-pollutants treatment are not adequately understood.

Hence, it is the aim of the present research to increase the understanding of the uptake and transformation processes of pesticides by different kinds of wetland plants. Different laboratorial and pilot scale studies are being performed.

Target compounds analyses and quantification is performed by HPLC-DAD. Mass spectrometry methods for the determination of unknown transformation products, as well as enantioselective analysis are also being used to discriminate between biological and other processes.



Pictures of aquatic plants systems in a laboratorial study, A) Imazil removal group B) Tebuconazole removal group c) Plant control


Literature relevant for the project

[1] Brix H, Koottatep T, Laugesen CH. Wastewater treatment in tsunami affected areas of Thailand by constructed wetlands. Water Science & Technology 2007;56.

[2] Vymazal J. Removal of nutrients in various types of constructed wetlands. Science of the total environment 2007;380:48-65.

[3] Brix H. Do macrophytes play a role in constructed treatment wetlands? Water science and technology 1997;35:11-7.

[4] Carvalho PN, Araújo JL, Mucha AP, Basto M, Almeida CMR. Potential of constructed wetlands microcosms for the removal of veterinary pharmaceuticals from livestock wastewater. Bioresource technology 2013;134:412-6.