Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society 2010 Volume 75, Issue 1, Pages: 129-142
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The effect of the application of halotolerant microorganisms on the efficiency of a pilot-scale constructed wetland for saline wastewater treatment

Karajić Milana, Lapanje Aleš, Razinger Jaka, Zrimec Alexis, Vrhovšek Danijel

In order to find the optimal design characteristics of constructed wetlands for saline wastewater treatment, halotolerant microorganisms, isolated from the water of the Sečovlje salterns, were inoculated into the media of a pilot-scale constructed wetland (CW). The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of different salinities on the efficiency of halotolerant microorganisms for the removal of pollutants in order to evaluate the possibility of their employment for saline wastewater treatment. The efficiency of ammonium removal (34.1 %) was the highest with 0 % NaCl in wastewater and slightly lower (31.8 %) when 2 g/dm3 saccharose was added to aerated 1.5 % NaCl wastewater. The highest removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the pilot-scale subsurface flow (SSF) CW was 83.6 % when saccharose (2 g/dm3) was added to aerated 1.5 % NaCl wastewater. It was found that removal efficiency of the pilot-scale constructed wetland with inoculated halotolerant microorganisms showed a higher sensitivity to aeration and the presence of saccharose than to variation of the salinity of the wastewater. It can be concluded that halotolerant microorganisms, isolated from the Sečovlje salterns, are not sensitive to the changes in salinity and are, therefore, an alternative in the treatment of saline wastewater with a constructed wetland. However, with aeration their efficiency could be further improved.

Keywords: constructed wetlands, saline wastewater, halotolerant microorganisms

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