Nutrient removal as a function of benzene supply within vertical-flow constructed wetlands

Xianqiang Tang, Miklas Scholz, Paul Emeka Eke, Suiliang Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The role of benzene, macrophytes and temperature in terms of nutrient removal within constructed wetlands is unknown. Therefore, a research study over approximately 30 months was conducted to assess the potential of vertical-flow constructed wetlands to treat nutrients and to examine the effect of benzene concentration, presence of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud (common reed), and temperature control on nutrient removal. Experimental wetlands removed between 72% and 90% of benzene at an influent concentration of 1000 mg L-1. A statistical analysis indicated that benzene is linked to increased effluent chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand concentrations. However, there was no significant relationship between benzene treatment and both nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Phragmites australis played a negligible role in organic matter (chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and phosphorus) removal. Control of temperature favoured biochemical oxygen demand removal. However, no significant difference in chemical oxygen demand, and nitrogen and phosphorus removal was detected. Only the combination of the benzene and temperature variables had a significant impact on biochemical oxygen demand removal. The effluent biochemical oxygen demand concentrations in temperature-controlled benzene treatment wetlands were much lower than those located in the natural environment. However, any other combination between benzene, P. australis and the environmental control variables had no significant effect on biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, or nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-691
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzene
  • Nutrients
  • Phragmites australis
  • Temperature
  • Vertical-flow constructed wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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