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Two common wetland plants, Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) and Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), were used in hydroponic cultivation systems for the treatment of simulated high-sulfate wastewaters. Plants in initial experiments at pH 7.0 removed sulfate more efficiently compared to the same experimental conditions at pH 6.0. Results at sulfate concentrations of 50, 200, 300, 600, 900, 1200, 1500 and 3000 mg/L during three consecutive 7-day treatment periods with 1-day rest intervals, showed decreasing trends of both removal efficiencies and uptake rates with increasing sulfate concentrations from the first to the second to the third 7-day treatment periods. Removed sulfate masses per unit dry plant mass, calculated after 23 days, showed highest removal capacity at 600 mg/L sulfate for both plants. A Langmuir-type isotherm best described sulfate uptake capacity of both plants. Kinetic studies showed that compared to pseudo first-order kinetics, pseudo-second order kinetic models slightly better described sulfate uptake rates by both plants. The Elovich kinetic model showed faster rates of attaining equilibrium at low sulfate concentrations for both plants. The dimensionless Elovich model showed that about 80% of sulfate uptake occurred during the first four days' contact time. Application of three 4-day contact times with 2-day rest intervals at high sulfate concentrations resulted in slightly higher uptakes compared to three 7-day contact times with 1-day rest intervals, indicating that pilot-plant scale treatment systems could be sized with shorter contact times and longer rest-intervals.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of environmental management
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