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A PRELIMINARY STUDY TO DESIGN A FLOATING TREATMENT WETLAND FOR REMEDIATING ACID MINE DRAINAGE-IMPACTED WATER USING VETIVER GRASS (CHRYSOPOGON ZIZANIOIDES)
Kiiskila, J.D., D. Sarkar, K.A. Feuerstein, and R. Datta.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24(36):27985-27993(2017)

A study is underway to develop a low-cost and sustainable floating wetland treatment (FWT) system for acid mine drainage (AMD) at the abandoned Tab-Simco coal mining site in Illinois using vetiver grass. Tab-Simco AMD is highly acidic (mean pH 2.64) and contains high levels of sulfate and metals. A 30-d greenhouse study conducted to screen and optimize the necessary parameters to design an FWT system showed significant sulfate removal, resulting in increased pH, particularly at higher planting densities. Vetiver also helped in metal removal: high amounts of Fe, Zn, and Cu were removed, with relatively lower amounts of Pb, Al, and Ni. Iron plaque formation on the root was observed, which increased metal stabilization in roots and lowered root-to-shoot metal translocation. Vetiver was tolerant of AMD, showing minimal change in biomass and plant growth. A large-scale mesocosm study is the next step in developing a vetiver-based FTW system for AMD treatment.



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