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Constructed wetlands using aluminium-based drinking water treatment sludge as P-removing substrate: Should aluminium release be a concern?

Babatunde, Akintunde, Kumar, Jeyakumar L. G. and Zhao, Yaqian 2011. Constructed wetlands using aluminium-based drinking water treatment sludge as P-removing substrate: Should aluminium release be a concern? Journal of Environmental Monitoring 13 (6) , pp. 1775-1783. 10.1039/c1em00001b

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Abstract

This study investigated an important issue of aluminium (Al) release from a novel reuse of Al-based water treatment sludge (Al-WTS) in constructed wetland system (CWs) as alternative substrate for wastewater treatment. Al-WTS is an inevitable by-product of drinking water treatment plants that use Al-salt as coagulant for raw water purification. It has recently been demonstrated that Al-WTS can be reused as a low-cost phosphorus (P) adsorbent and biofilm carrier in CWs for wastewater treatment. However, to facilitate the large scale application of Al-WTS in CWs as wetland substrate, concerns about Al leaching during its reuse in CWs must be addressed as Al is a dominant constituent in Al-WTS. In this study, a desk review of literature on Al release during Al-WTS reuse was conducted. Furthermore, a 42-week Al monitoring was carried out on a pilot field-scale CWs employing Al-WTS as main substrate. Results show that 22 out of the 35 studies reviewed, reported Al release with levels of soluble Al reported ranging from 0.01 to about 20 mg L−1. Monitoring of Al in the pilot field-scale CWs shows that there was Al leaching. However, except for the first three weeks of operation, effluents concentrations of both total- and soluble-Al were all below the general regulatory guideline limit of 0.2 mg L−1. Overall, the study addresses a vital concern regarding the successful application of Al-WTS in CWs and shows that Al release during such novel reuse is quite low and should not preclude its use.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 1464-0325
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:19
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/36859

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