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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Ester Coppini; Laura Palli; Alexandra Antal; Massimo Del Bubba; Elisangela Miceli; Renato Fani; Donatella Fibbi;
    Publisher: IWA Publishing
    Country: Italy

    Abstract In this paper, the design and start-up of a constructed wetland (CW) for the tertiary treatment of landfill leachates is presented. The flux is characterized by high salinity, high concentration of nitrogen (almost completely in the form of nitrate) and a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)/chemical oxygen demand (COD) ratio close to zero. The CW pilot plant suffered from mechanical and hydraulic malfunctions which led to an uneven growth of plants inside the tanks. Despite this, COD has been reduced in the range of 0–30%, reduced forms of N (ammonia and nitrite) are also oxidized and removed by 50–80% and 20–26% on average. Considering the low number of plants and the loading rate, CW pilot plant allowed to remove more than 16 kg of COD, leading to a specific removal of 10 gCOD/d · m2. Moreover, bacterial communities associated to plants were isolated and analyzed in order to evaluate the influence of such communities on phytoremediation. Bulk soil registered the lowest bacterial titers, while plant compartments and rhizospheric soil showed to be more suitable for bacterial colonization. Twenty-five different bacterial genera were observed among the analyzed isolates, with the predominance of Pseudomonas genus.

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