Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 505907
Title Soil amendment using poplar woodchips to enhance the treatment of wastewater-originated nutrients
Author(s) Meffe, Raffaella; Miguel Garcia, Angel de; Martínez Hernández, Virtudes; Lillo, Javier; Bustamante, Irene de
Source Journal of Environmental Management 180 (2016). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 517 - 525.
Department(s) Alterra - Climate change and adaptive land and water management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Column experiment - Nutrients - Soil amendments - Vegetation filter - Wastewater - Woodchips

Vegetation filters, a nature based wastewater regeneration technology, have been reported as a feasible solution for small municipalities and scattered populations with limited access to sewage networks. However even when such a treatment is properly planned, the leaching of contaminants through the unsaturated zone may occur. The amendment of soil with a readily-labile source of carbon is supposed to ameliorate the removal of contaminants by stimulating microbial activity and enhancing sorption processes. In this study, lab-scale leaching column experiments were carried out to explore if the addition of woodchips to the soil could be a feasible strategy to be integrated in a vegetation filter. Two different types of arrangement of soil and woodchips layers were tested. The soil was collected from an operating vegetation filter treating wastewater of an office building characterised by a high nutrient load. Daily pulse of synthetic wastewater were applied into the columns and effluent samples were collected and analyzed for major ions, total nitrogen (NT), total phosphorous (PT) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). By the end of the experiment, NT, NO3-N and PT soil contents were also measured. Results indicate that amendments with woodchips enhance the elimination of wastewater-originated contaminants. NT removal in the columns with woodchips reaches a value of 99.4%. The main processes responsible for this elimination are NH4-N sorption and nitrification/denitrification. This latter fostered by the reduced redox conditions due to the enhanced microbial activity. High removal of PT (99%) is achieved independently of the woodchips presence due to retention and/or precipitation phenomena. The COD removal efficiency is not affected by the presence of the woodchips. The leaching of organic carbon occurs only during the experimental start-up period.

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