Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 5344–5358 | Cite as

Synergistic phytoremediation of wastewater by two aquatic plants (Typha angustifolia and Eichhornia crassipes) and potential as biomass fuel

  • Theeta Sricoth
  • Weeradej Meeinkuirt
  • John Pichtel
  • Puntaree Taeprayoon
  • Patompong Saengwilai
Research Article


The ability of a mixture of Typha angustifolia and Eichhornia crassipes to remove organics, nutrients, and heavy metals from wastewater from a Thailand fresh market was studied. Changes in physicochemical properties of the wastewater including pH, temperature, chemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total P, TOC, conductivity, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, NO3 -N, NH3-N, and metal (Pb, Cd, and Zn) concentrations were monitored. In the aquatic plant (AP) treatment, 100% survival of both species was observed. Dry biomass production and growth rate of T. angustifolia were approximately 3.3× and 2.7× of those for E. crassipes, respectively. The extensive root system of the plants improved water quality as determined by a marked decrease in turbidity in the AP treatment after 7 days. BOD content served as a useful indicator of water quality; BOD declined by 91% over 21 days. Both T. angustifolia and E. crassipes accumulated similar quantities of metals in both roots and shoots. Accumulation of metals was as follows: Zn > Cd > Pb. A study of calorific value and biomass composition revealed that T. angustifolia and E. crassipes possessed similar carbon content (~ 35%), hydrogen content (~ 6%), and gross calorific value. E. crassipes contained up to 16.9% ash and 65.4% moisture. Both species are considered invasive in Thailand; however, they may nonetheless provide practical benefits: In addition to their combined abilities to treat wastewater, T. angustifolia holds potential as an alternative energy source due to its high biomass production.


Synergistic phytoremediation Typha angustifolia Eichhornia crassipes Wastewater Mesocosm experiment Calorific value 


Funding information

This research was funded by Navamindradhiraj University.


  1. Ágoston-Szabó E, Dinka M (2008) Decomposition of Typha angustifolia and Phragmites australis in the littoral zone of a shallow lake. Biol Bratislava 63:1104–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akowuah J, Kemausuor F, Mitchual JS (2012) Physiochemical characteristics and market potential of sawdust charcoal briquettes. Int J Energy Environ Eng 3:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Hakkak JS, Barbooti MM (1989) Thermogravimetric study on typha (Typha angustifolia L.) J Therm Anal 35(3):815–821. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ali H, Khan E, Sajad MA (2013) Phytoremediation of heavy metals—concepts and applications. Chemosphere 91(7):869–881. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) (1995) Official methods of analysis. ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. APHA, AWWA & WEF (American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation) (2005) Standard methods for examination of water and wastewater. American Public Health Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  7. Ayodo T, Jagero N (2012) The economic, educational and social responsibilities of elders development groups in lake Victoria region. Acad Res Int 2:610–620Google Scholar
  8. Baker AJM, Brooks RR (1989) Terrestrial higher plants which hyper accumulate metallic elements—reviews of their distribution, ecology and phytochemistry. Biorecovery 1:81–126Google Scholar
  9. Brix H (1997) Do macrophytes play a role in constructed treatment wetlands? Water Sci Technol 35:11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cálheiros CSC, Rangel AOSS, Castro PML (2007) Constructed wetland systems vegetated with different plants applied to the treatment of tannery wastewater. Water Res 41(8):1790–1798. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Callejón-Ferre AJ, Carreño-Sánchez J, Suárez-Medina FJ, Pérez-Alonso J, Velázquez-Martí B (2014) Prediction models for higher heating value based on the structural analysis of the biomass of plant remains from the greenhouses of Almería (Spain). Fuel 116:377–387. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chapman D (1993) Assessment of injury to fish populations: Clark Fork river NPL sites, Montana. In: Lipton J (ed) Aquatic resources injury assessment report, Upper Clark Fork river basin. Montana Natural Resource Damage Assessment Program, HelenaGoogle Scholar
  13. Chomchalow N (2011) Giant Salvinia—an invasive alien aquatic plant in Thailand. 62nd Spring Meeting of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). SuncheonGoogle Scholar
  14. Chung AKC, Wu Y, Tam NFY, Wong MH (2008) Nitrogen and phosphate mass balance in a sub-surface flow constructed wetland for treating municipal wastewater. Ecol Eng 32(1):81–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deng H, Ye ZH, Wong MH (2004) Accumulation of lead, zinc, copper and cadmium by 12 wetland plant species thriving in metal-contaminated sites in China. Environ Pollut 132(1):29–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Department of Environment Malaysia (DOEM) (2009) Environmental quality (sewage) regulations 2009. FAO, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  17. Dodgen LK, Ueda A, Wu X, Parker DR, Gan J (2015) Effect of transpiration on plant accumulation and translocation of PPCP/EDCs. Environ Pollut 198:144–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dowling R, Stephen K (1995) The use of wetland plants in artificial wetlands in Queenland, wetland for water quality control. TownvilleGoogle Scholar
  19. Faulwetter JL, Gagnon V, Sundberg C, Chazarenc F, Burr MD, Brisson J, Camper AK, Stein OR (2009) Microbial processes influencing performance of treatment wetlands: a review. Ecol Eng 35(6):987–1004. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Francis-Floyd R (2003) Dissolved oxygen for fish production. Fact Sheet FA-27. U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension service, University of Florida, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  21. Grace JB, Harrison JS (1986) The biology of Canadian weeds. 73. Typha latifolia L., Typha angustifolia L. and Typha xglauca Godr. Can J Plant Sci 66(2):361–379. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gravalos I, Kateris D, Xyradakis P, Gialamas T, Loutridis S, Augousti A, Georgiades A, Tsiropoulos Z (2010) A study on calorific energy values of biomass residue pellets for heating purposes. 43th International Symposium on Forest Mechanisation: “Forest Engineering: Meeting the Needs of the Society and the Environment”, Padova, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  23. Greenway M, Woolley A (2000) Changes in plant biomass and nutrient removal over 3 years in a constructed free water surface flow wetland in Cairns. Water Sci Technol 44:303–310Google Scholar
  24. Guan BTH, Mohamat-Yusuff F, Halimoon N (2017) Uptake of Mn and Cd by wild water spinach and their accumulation and translocation factors. Environ Asia 10:44–51Google Scholar
  25. Guilizzoni P (1991) The role of heavy metals and toxic materials in the physiological ecology of submersed macrophytes. Aquat Biol 41(1-3):87–109. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gwaski P, Hati SS, Ndahi N, Ogugbuaja VO (2013) Modeling parameters of oxygen demand in the aquatic environment of lake chad for depletion estimation. ARPN J Sci Technol 3:116–123Google Scholar
  27. Haider H (2010) Water quality management model for Ravi river. Dissertation, Institute of Environmental Engineering and Research, UET, LahoreGoogle Scholar
  28. Hebert PDN (2007) Macrophytes. Accessed 14 July 2017
  29. Henry-Silva GG, Camargo AFM (2006) Efficiency of aquatic macrophytes to treat Nile tilapia pond effluents. Sci Agric 63(5):433–438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Henry-Silva GG, Camargo AFM (2008) Treatment of shrimp effluents by free-floating aquatic macrophytes. Braz J Anim Sci 37:181–188Google Scholar
  31. Hillring B (2006) World trade in forest products and wood fuel. Biomass Bioenergy 30(10):815–825. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hoagland DR, Arnold DI (1950) The water-culture method of growing plants without soil. The college of Agriculture, University of California, BerkleyGoogle Scholar
  33. Horne AJ (2000) Phytoremediation by constructed wetlands. In: Terry N, Banuelos G (eds) Phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, pp 85–108Google Scholar
  34. Kaewtubtim P, Meeinkuirt W, Seepom S, Pichtel J (2016) Heavy metal phytoremediation potential of plant species in a mangrove ecosystem in Pattani Bay, Thailand. Appl Ecol Environ Res 14(1):367–382.
  35. Kaewtubtim P, Meeinkuirt W, Seepom S, Pichtel J (2017) Radionuclide (226Ra, 232Th, 40K) accumulation among plant species in mangrove ecosystems of Pattani Bay, Thailand. Mar Pollut Bull 115(1-2):391–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kanninen J, Kauppi L, Yrjänä ER (1982) The role of nitrogen as a growth limiting factor in the eutrophic lake Vesijärvi, southern Finland. Hydrobiologia 86(1-2):81–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kantawanichkul S, Pingkul K, Araki H (2008) Nitrogen removal by a combined subsurface vertical down-flow and up-flow constructed wetland system. In: Vymazal J (ed) Wastewater treatment, plant dynamics and management in constructed and natural wetlands. Springer, Amsterdam, pp 161–170. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kantawanichkul S, Kladpraserta S, Brix H (2009) Treatment of high-strength wastewater in tropical vertical flow constructed wetlands planted with Typha angustifolia and Cyperus involucratus. Ecol Eng 35(2):238–247. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kara Y, Zeytunluoglu A (2007) Bioaccumulation of toxic metals (cd and cu) by Groenlandia densa (L.) Fourr. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 79(6):609–612. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumar KS, Kumar DS, Teja VA, Venkateswarlu V, Kumar MS, Nadendla RR (2013) A review on Typha angustata. Int J Phytopharm 4:277–281Google Scholar
  41. Kyambadde J, Kansiime F, Gumaelius L, Dalhammar G (2004) A comparative study of Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthidium violaceum-based constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in a tropical climate. Water Res 38(2):475–485. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lananan F, Abdul Hamid SH, Din WNS, Ali NA, Khatoon H, Jusoh A, Endut A (2014) Symbiotic bioremediation of aquaculture wastewater in reducing ammonia and phosphorus utilizing effective microorganism (EM-1) and microalgae (Chlorella sp.) Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 95:127–134. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Landesman L, Fedler C, Duan R (2011) Plant nutrient phytoremediation using duckweed. In: Ansari AA, Sarvajeet SG, Lanza GR, Rast W (eds) Eutrophication: causes, consequences and control. Springer, Netherlands, pp 341–354Google Scholar
  44. Larsson EH, Bornman JF, Asp H (1998) Influence of UV-B radiation and Cd2+ on chlorophyll fluorescence, growth and nutrient content in Brassica napus. J Exp Bot 49:1031–1039.
  45. Li J, Yang X, Wang Z, Shan Y, Zheng Z (2015) Comparison of four aquatic plant treatment systems for nutrient removal from eutrophied water. Bioresour Technol 179:1–7. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Liu JT, Sun JJ, Fang SW, Han L, Feng Q, Hu F (2016) Nutrient removal capacities of four submerged macrophytes in the Poyang lake basin. Appl Ecol Environ Res 14(2):107–124.
  47. Meeinkuirt W, Sirinawin W, Angsupanich S, Polpunthin P (2008) Changes in relative abundance of phytoplankton in arsenic contaminated waters at the Ron Phibun district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand. Int J Algae 10(2):141–162. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Meeinkuirt W, Kruatrachue M, Tanhan P, Chaiyarat R, Pokethitiyook P (2013) Phytostabilization potential of Pb mine tailings by two grass species, Thysanolaena maxima and Vetiveria zizanioides. Water Air Soil Pollut 224(10):1750. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Meeinkuirt W, Kruatrachue M, Pichtel J, Phusantisampan T, Saengwilai P (2016) Influence of organic amendments on phytostabilization of Cd-contaminated soil by Eucalyptus camaldulensis. ScienceAsia 42(2):83–91. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Menéndez M, Herrera J, Comín FA (2002) Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus supply on growth, chlorophyll content and tissue composition of the macroalga Chaetomorpha linum (O.F. Müll.) Kütz in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon. Sci Mar 66(4):355–364. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mishra S, Maiti A (2017) The efficiency of Eichhornia crassipes in the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from wastewater: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24(9):7921–7937. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mohan BS, Hosetti BB (1997) Potential phytotoxicity of lead and cadmium to Lemna minor growth in sewage stabilization ponds. Environ Pollut 98(2):233–238. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mood SH, Golfeshan AH, Tabatabaei M, Jouzani GS, Najafi GH, Gholami M, Ardjmand M (2013) Lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol, a comprehensive review with a focus on pretreatment. Renew Sust Energ Rev 22:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mook WT, Chakrabarti MH, Aroua MK, Khan GMA, Ali BS, Islam MS, Abu Hassan MA (2012) Removal of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), nitrate and total organic carbon (TOC) from aquaculture wastewater using electrochemical technology: a review. Desalination 285:1–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Munjeri K, Ziuku S, Maganga H, Siachingoma B, Ndlovu S (2016) On the potential of water hyacinth as a biomass briquette for heating applications. Int J Energy Environ Eng 7:37–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nasir NM, Abu Bakar NS, Lananan F, Abdul Hamid SH, Lam SS, Jusoh A (2015) Treatment of African catfish, Clarias gariepinus wastewater utilizing phytoremediation of microalgae, Chlorella sp. with Aspergillus niger bio-harvesting. Bioresour Technol 190:492–498. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ndimele P, Kumolu-Johnson C, Anetekhai M (2011) The invasive aquatic macrophyte, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solm-Laubach: Pontedericeae): problems and prospects. Res J Environ Sci 5:509–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ng YS, Chan DJCC (2017) Wastewater phytoremediation by Salvinia molesta. J Water Process Eng 15:107–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Núñez-Regueira L, Proupín Castiñeiras J, Rodríguez Añon JA (2002) Energy evaluation of forest residues originated from Eucalyptus globulus Labill in Galicia. Bioresour Technol 82(1):5–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. O’Conner JT (2004) Removal of total organic carbon: a technical review. Part 1 H2O’C Engineering. GAC-Capped Filter, Blooming, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  61. Ojoawo SO, Udaykumar G, Naik P (2015) Phytoremediation of phosphorus and nitrogen with Canna x generalis reeds in domestic wastewater through NMAMIT constructed wetland. Aquat PRO 4:349–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ol Analytical 2016 Monitoring wastewater treatment plants using on-line TOC analysis. Accessed 18 July 2017
  63. Onyango JP, Ondeng MA (2015) The contribution of the multiple usage of water hyacinth on the economic development of riparian communities in Dunga and Kichinjio of Kisumu central sub country, Kenya. Am J Renew Sust Energy 1:128–132Google Scholar
  64. Outridge PM, Noller BN (1991) Accumulation of toxic trace elements by freshwater vascular plants. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol 121:1–63Google Scholar
  65. Patel S (2012) Threats, management and envisaged utilizations of aquatic weed Eichhornia crassipes: an overview. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 11(3):249–259. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Pescod MB (1992) Wastewater treatment and use in agriculture. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  67. Ravindranath NH, Balachandra P, Dasappa S, Usha RK (2006) Bioenergy technologies for carbon abatement. Biomass Bioenergy 30(10):826–837. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Reddy KR, Kebusk TA (1987) State of the art utilization of aquatic plants in water pollution control. Water Sci Technol 19:61–79Google Scholar
  69. Rezania S, Md Din MF, Kamaruddin SF, Taib SM, Singh L, Yong EL, Dahalan FA (2016) Evaluation of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) as a potential raw material source for briquette production. Energy 111:768–773. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rodrigues AJ, Odero MO, Hayombe PO, Akuno W, Kerich D, Maobe I (2014) Converting water hyacinth to briquettes: a bench community based approach. Int J Sci Basic Appl Res 15:358–378Google Scholar
  71. Singh OV, Labana S, Pandey G, Budhiraja R, Jain RK (2003) Phytoremediation: an overview of metallic ion decontamination from soil. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 61(5-6):405–412. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sivasankari B, David RA (2016) A study on chemical analysis of water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). Int J Inno Res Sci Eng Technol 5:17566–17570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Srivastava NSL, Narnaware SL, Makwana JP, Singh SN, Vahora S (2014) Investigating the energy use of vegetable market waste by briquetting. Renew Energy 68:270–275. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sukumaran D (2013) Phytoremediation of heavy metals from industrial effluent using constructed wetland technology. Appl Ecol Environ Res 1:92–97Google Scholar
  75. Supatata N, Buates J, Hariyanont P (2013) Characterization of fuel briquettes made from sewage sludge mixed with water hyacinth and sewage sludge mixed with sedge. Int J Environ Sci Dev 4:179–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Thomann VR, Mueller AJ (1887) Principals of surface water quality modeling. Harper International Edition, Harper & Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  77. Tong CH, Yang XE, PM P (2004) Purification of eutrophicated water by aquatic plant. Chin J Appl Ecol 15:1447–1450Google Scholar
  78. Torresdey JLG, Videa JRP, Rosa G, Parsons JG (2005) Phytoremediation of heavy metals and study of the metal coordination by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Coord Chem Rev 249:1797–1810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tran TT, Nguyen VD, Do DN, Nguyen HP, Choi J (2011) Assessment of electric power generation via water hyacinths and agricultural waste. J Energy Power Eng 5:627–631Google Scholar
  80. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) (1999) Development and harmonization of environmental laws. UNEP/UNDP/Dutch Project on environmental law and institutions in Africa. Volume 2. United Nations, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  81. U.S. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2001) A citizen’s guide to phytoremediation. EPA 542-F-12-016. Environmental Protection Agency, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  82. U.S. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2006) Nutrients. EPA-842-B-06-003.
  83. Vaccaro LE, Bedford BL, Johnston CA (2009) Litter accumulation promotes dominance of invasive species of cattails (Typha spp.) in lake Ontario wetlands. Wetlands 29(3):1036–1048.
  84. Verma R, Suthar S (2015) Lead and cadmium removal from water using duckweed—Lemna gibba L`.: impact of pH and initial metal load. Alexandria Eng J 54:1297–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Vymazal J, Kröpfelová L (2008) Wastewater treatment in constructed wetlands with horizontal sub-surface flow. Springer, Amsterdam. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wang LK, Hung YT, Lo HH, Yapijakis C (2004) Handbook of industrial and hazardous wastes treatment. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Zhang CB, Liu WL, Wang J, Ge Y, Ge Y, Chang SX, Chang J (2011) Effects of monocot and dicot types and species richness in mesocosm constructed wetlands on removal of pollutants from wastewater. Bioresour Technol 102(22):10260–10265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theeta Sricoth
    • 1
  • Weeradej Meeinkuirt
    • 2
  • John Pichtel
    • 3
  • Puntaree Taeprayoon
    • 2
  • Patompong Saengwilai
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Navamindradhiraj UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Mahidol UniversityNakhon SawanThailand
  3. 3.Natural Resources and Environmental ManagementBall State UniversityMuncieUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand
  5. 5.Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology (EHT), CHEMinistry of EducationBangkokThailand

Personalised recommendations