TitleRemoval of Nonionic Surfactants from Wastewater Using a Constructed Wetland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSima, J, Holcova, V
JournalChemistry & Biodiversity
Pagination1819 - 1832

Removal of nonionic surfactants from municipal wastewater using a constructed wetland with a horizontal subsurface flow was studied in 2009 and 2010. Extraction spectrophotometry with 3’, 3 ’’, 5’, 5 ’’-tetrabromophenolphthalein ethyl ester and KCl served to determine the analyte concentrations. Triton (R) X-100 was used as a standard to express the nonionic-surfactant concentrations. Anionic and cationic surfactants were shown not to interfere during the determination. Nonionic surfactants were degraded (to products undeterminable by the method) with a high average efficiency that reached 98.1% in 2009 and 99.1% in 2010, respectively. The average concentration of nonionic surfactants at the inflow was 0.978 mg/l, while it was close to the limit of quantification at the outflow (0.014 mg/l). A significant fraction of nonionic surfactants (38.7%) was already degraded during the pretreatment, and only 14.0% of the nonionic surfactants remained in the interstitial H2O taken in the vegetation bed at a distance of 1 m from the inflow zone at a 50-cm depth. Nonionic surfactants were degraded both under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.