White hard clam (Meretrix lyrata) shells as novel filter media to augment the phosphorus removal from wastewater.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Science of the total environment, 2020, 741, pp. 140483
Issue Date:
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It is well recognized that filter media play a crucial role in constructed wetlands (CWs) for decontamination of phosphorus (P)-rich wastewater. This study investigates the suitability of raw white hard clam shells (WHC) and white hard clam shells thermally modified at 800 °C (WHC-M800) as potential media to enhance P treatment performance in CWs. The results indicated that both WHC and WHC-M800 displayed appropriate physicochemical properties, such as high porosity, excellent hydraulic conductivity, and rich Ca content. WHC-M800 exhibited a superior P adsorption capacity (38.7 mg/g) to WHC (12.8 mg/g). However, the practical utilization of WHC-M800 as filter media in CWs may be compromised, due to certain limitations, for example: extremely high pH values in the post-adsorption solutions; high weight losses during calcination and adsorption processes; low mechanical strength; and intensive energy consumption. In contrast, the WHC demonstrated significant advantages of reasonably high P adsorption capacity, locally abundant availability, low cost, and marginal side effects. The fractionation of inorganic P of WHC and WHC-M800 revealed that Ca-bounded P was the most dominant binding form, followed by loosely bound P, Fe-P, occluded P, and Al-P. The present study demonstrates that recycling of WHC shells as a potential substrate in CWs provides a feasible method for upgrading P removal in CWs. Additionally, it helps to reduce waste WHC shells in a simple, cheap, and eco-friendly way, thus can double environmental benefits.
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