Macrophytes have been used to mitigate eutrophication and upgrade effluent quality via their nutrient removal capability. However, the available data are influenced by factors such as microbial activities, weather, and wastewater quality, making comparison between nutrient removal performance of different macrophytes almost impossible. In this study, phytoremediation by Spirodela polyrhiza, Salvinia molesta and Lemna sp. were carried out axenically in synthetic wastewater under controlled condition to precisely evaluate nutrient removal efficiency of NO3--N, PO43-, NH3-N, COD and pH in the water sample. The results showed that ammonia removal was rapid, significant for S. polyrhiza and Lemna sp., with efficiency of 60% and 41% respectively within 2 days. S. polyrhiza was capable of reducing 30% of the nitrate. Lemna sp. achieved the highest phosphate reduction of 86% at day 12 to mere 1.07 mg/L PO43--P. Correlation was found between COD and TC, suggesting the release of organic substances by macrophytes into the medium. All the macrophytes showed biomass increment. S. polyrhiza outperformed other macrophytes in nutrient removal despite lower biomass production. The acquired nutrient removal profiles can serve as a guideline for the selection of suitable macrophytes in wastewater treatment and to evaluate microbial activity in non-aseptic phytoremediation system.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.