Effect of key design parameters on bacteria community and effluent pollutant concentrations in constructed wetlands using mathematical models
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Constructed wetlands are currently recognized as an effective environmental biotechnology for wastewater treatment, but the influence of their design parameters on internal functioning and contaminant removal efficiency is still under discussion. In this work, the effect of aspect ratio and water depth on bacteria communities as well as treatment efficiency of horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSSF) under the Mediterranean climate was evaluated, using a mathematical model. For this purpose, experimental results from four pilot-scale wetlands of equal surface area but different aspect ratios and water depth were used. The HSSF system was fed with municipal wastewater. The experimental data were simulated using the BIO_PORE model, developed in the COMSOL Multiphysics™ platform. Simulations with the BIO_PORE model fitted well to the experimental results, showing a higher removal efficiency for the shallower HSSF for COD (93.7% removal efficiency) and ammonia nitrogen (73.8%). The aspect ratio had a weak relationship with the bacteria distribution and the removal efficiency. In contrast, the water depth was a factor. The results of the present study confirm a previous hypothesis in which depth has an important impact on the biochemical reactions causing contaminants transformation and degradation.
CitationSanchez-Ramos, D., Agullo, N., Samsó, R., Garcia, J. Effect of key design parameters on bacteria community and effluent pollutant concentrations in constructed wetlands using mathematical models. "Science of the total environment", Abril 2017, vol. 584-585, p. 374-380.