Typha latifolia-planted vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands (VSSF CWs) and an unplanted microcosm constructed wetland were used for treating secondary refinery wastewater from the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC, Nigeria). Cow dung was applied to the planted wetlands at the start of the experiment and after 3 months to enhance plant growth and petroleum degradation. The T. latifolia-planted VSSF CWs removed 45–99% total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), 99–100% phenol, 70–80% oil and grease, 45–91% chemical oxygen demand (COD), and 46–88% total suspended solids (TSSs). The performance of the unplanted control VSSF CW achieved lower removal efficiencies (15–58% TPH, 86–91% phenol, 16–44% oil and grease, 24–66% COD, and 20–55% TSS). T. latifolia plants had a bioaccumulation factor (BAF) > 1 for phenol, total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphate (TP), suggesting a high removal performance for these contaminants and good translocation ability (TF) for TPH, phenol, oil and grease, and TN, with the exception of TP which was mainly retained in their roots (BAF = 47). This study showed T. latifolia is a good candidate plant to be used in VSSF CWs for polishing secondary refinery wastewater in developing countries.
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The authors acknowledge the management of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (Kaduna, Nigeria) for giving the opportunity to conduct this research in their company.
We also thank the Government of the Netherlands for their financial assistance (the NUFFIC program) (NFP-PhD CF7447/2011) and the TETFUND (Tertiary Education Trust Fund) for the staff training through the Federal University of Technology, Minna (Nigeria).
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