Nutrient uptake rate and removal efficiency of Vetiveria zizanioides in contaminated waters

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Water and Wastewater Research Centre, Water Research Institute (WRI), Tehran, Iran

2 Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Bushehr, Iran



This research compares the performance of floating systems planted with Vetiveria zizanioides as a hydroponic approach for removing nutrients from two contaminated waters. For this purpose, two pilots with overall net volume of 60 litres were constructed and inoculated by secondary treated domestic wastewater (STDW) and irrigation water obtained from Minab reservoir (IWMR) in batch mode. Regarding the experimental results, the total nitrogen removal efficiency reaches more than 40 and 75%, in two and four days’ detention time, respectively, while these figures are 75 and 85% for phosphorus. The comparative statistical analyses verify that the results reveal significant differences in nitrogen removal, its uptake and the shoots’ dry weight. Conversely, phosphorus removal, its uptake and the roots’ growth are not significantly different. The regression analysis shows that the nitrogen uptake is well correlated with the shoots’ expansion rate as a matter of substrate type. The decay coefficient rates of nitrogen and phosphorus are calculated as 0.43 and 0.52 day-1, respectively. It is then concluded that this system should be used for wastewater treatment rather than for surface water purification. However, it can be recommended as an environmental friendly approach for both, because of the high efficiency in nutrients’ removal and the aeration capability.