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The importance of the calcium-to-magnesium ratio for phytoremediation of dairy industry wastewater using the aquatic plant Lemna minor L.
Burnell, Gavin M.
Jansen, Marcel A. K.
Taylor & Francis Group
Lemnaceae are being exploited to remediate a variety of different wastewaters. Our aim was to remediate dairy processing waste, which is produced in large amounts, and contains valuable plant nutrients, for example, nitrate, ammonium, phosphate and iron. However, initial trials failed to establish the growth of Lemna minor on this medium. A lack of growth can be due to a lack of essential plant nutrients, or the presence of phytotoxic ingredients. In this study we show that not just nutrient concentrations, but also the ratios between them can be important in facilitating growth. Lab-scale experiments in which L. minor were grown on 100 mL of synthetic dairy industry wastewater demonstrated that the skewed Ca:Mg ratio in synthetic wastewater is a key obstacle to good growth. Experiments showed that a ratio which favors magnesium over calcium negatively affects L. minor growth and photosynthetic yield, leading to RGRs as low as 0.05 day−1. A change in this ratio to favor calcium, through the addition of calcium sulfate, leads to RGRs of 0.2–0.3 day−1. Experiments lead us to conclude that a Ca:Mg ratio of 1:1.6 or greater is necessary for L. minor growth, and therefore phytoremediation of dairy industry processing wastewater.
Dairy processing , Duckweed , Lemna , Phytoremediation , Toxicity , Wastewater
Walsh, É., Paolacci, S., Burnell, G. and Jansen, M. A. K. (2020) 'The importance of the calcium-to-magnesium ratio for phytoremediation of dairy industry wastewater using the aquatic plant Lemna minor L.', International Journal of Phytoremediation. doi: 10.1080/15226514.2019.1707478
© 2020, Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Phytoremediation on 7 January 2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15226514.2019.1707478