Willow and common reed to remove micropollutants
Willow and common reed can contribute to remove organic pollutants and pharmaceutical compounds at the plants for wastewater treatment, a global issue that draws attention and worries due to the negative effects on the environment and public health.
The study that suggests this help, published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, was conducted by the biologist researchers of the University of Pisa and the Institute of Life Sciences of Scuola Sant’Anna.
Even if at very low concentrations, pollutants and pharmaceutical products have been found in waste waters that traditional depuration methods cannot remove efficiently. In fact, these micro-pollutants remain in the water even after the depuration cycle is completed.
The study authors have shown that, by using willow and common reed, and in particular some herbaceous species (Phragmites australis L.) and trees (Salix matsudana Koidz.), it is possible to effectively remove organic compounds in phytodepuration systems connected to the traditional cycle of depuration of wastewaters.
“The removal of compounds focused on pharmaceutical products, including diclofenac, ketoprofen, and atenolol and other pollutants such as nonylphenols and triclosan”, said Lorenzo Mariotti, University of Pisa.
“The complexity of the wastewater composed by micro-pollutants suggests that the combination of different plant species allows a better phytodepuration of the wastewater”, said Luca Sebastiani, Director of the Institute of Life Sciences of Scuola Sant’Anna.
Study co-authors are Alessandra Francini, Lorenzo Mariotti, Simona Di Gregorio, Luca Sebastiani and Andrea Andreucci.