Removal and monitoring acetaminophen-contaminated hospital wastewater by vertical flow constructed wetland and peroxidase enzymes

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Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Management, 2019, 250
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Hospital wastewater contains acetaminophen (ACT) and nutrient, which need adequate removal and monitoring to prevent impact to environment and community. This study developed a pilot scale vertical flow constructed wetland (CW) to (1) remove high-dose ACT and pollutants in hospital wastewater and (2) identify the correlation of peroxidase enzyme extruded by Scirpus validus and pollutants removal efficiency. By that correlation, a low-cost method to monitor pollutants removal was drawn. Plants, such as Scirpus validus, generated peroxidase enzymes to alleviate pollutants’ stress. Results showed that the CW removed 3.5 to 6 logs of initial concentration 10 mg ACT/L to a recommended level for drinking water. The CW eliminated COD, TKN and TP efficiently, meeting the wastewater discharged standards of Thailand and Vietnam. By various multivariable regression models, concentrations of ACT in CW effluent and enzymes in S. validus exhibited a significant correlation (p < 0.01, R2 = 68.3%). These findings suggested that (i) vertical flow CW could remove high-dose ACT and nutrient and (ii) peroxidase enzymes generated in S. validus, such as soluble and covalent ones, could track ACT removal efficiency. This would help to reduce facilities and analytical cost of micro-pollutants.
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