Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Lizama-Allende K., Jaque I., Ayala J., Montes-Atenas G. and Leiva E. (2018)

Arsenic Removal Using Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands: A Sustainable Alternative for Arsenic-Rich Acidic Waters.

Revista : Water
Volumen : 10
Número : 10
Páginas : 11pp
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Constructed wetlands (CW) have been widely used to treat different types of water, including acid mine drainage (AMD). However, little is known about their performance in the removal of As from AMD. In this study, a laboratory-scale horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) CW system was tested to evaluate its capacity to treat highly acidic, As-rich contaminated water resembling AMD. Vegetated and non-vegetated cells, having limestone or zeolite as the main supporting media, were built and operated to evaluate the effect of the media type and the presence of Phragmites australis on the removal of arsenic, iron (Fe), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn), and on the neutralization capacity. The four types of cells were highly effective in the removal of As and Pb (removal > 99%), and Fe (removal > 98%), whereas Zn removal rates depended on the cell type. Limestone cells raised the pH from ~1.9 to ~7.5, while zeolite cells raised it to ~4. These results suggest that the media type has a key role in the neutralization capacity, and that the presence of vegetation affected mainly the removal of Zn. Knowledge from this study will contribute to guiding the implementation of HSSF CW for treating As-rich AMD