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Technical Note: Nutrient Removal from Swine Wastewater by Growing Duckweed: A Pilot Study

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(1): 181-185. (doi: 10.13031/2013.41264) @2012
Authors:   J. Xu, J. J. Cheng, A. M. Stomp
Keywords:   Duckweed, Nutrients, Protein, Spirodela polyrrhiza, Swine wastewater

A pilot-scale duckweed pond was installed and integrated into the existing swine wastewater management system of a swine farm in Zebulon, North Carolina to investigate its effectiveness in removing nutrients from anaerobically treated swine wastewater. The nutrient-rich wastewater was added intermittently into the duckweed pond to maintain an ammonium (NH4-N) concentration of about 20 mg L-1, and the duckweed was harvested regularly to ultimately remove nutrients from the water body. The results show that duckweed (Spirodela polyrrhiza) grew rapidly on swine wastewater under field conditions, with a dry biomass yield of 10.7 g m-2 d-1 in August and September. Over the 16-week experimental period, NH4-N, the major nutrient concern in swine wastewater, was removed at 1.12 g m-2 d-1. The fast duckweed growth and an average duckweed protein content of 26.3% enabled a protein yield of 2.11 g m-2 d-1 throughout the experiment.

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