Effect of circulation on wastewater treatment by Lemna gibba and Lemna minor (floating aquatic macrophytes)

Int J Phytoremediation. Nov-Dec 2011;13(10):970-84. doi: 10.1080/15226514.2010.532242.


In this study, laboratory tests were performed in order to examine growth characteristics of floating aquatic macrophytes (Lemna gibba and Lemna minor) in the presence of wastewater with circulation. The results showed that circulation of the waste water enhanced the kinetics of the process, as compared to the control systems. However, prolonged application of high circulation level had a different effect. In the presence of circulation with aquatic plants, there was additional 85.3-88.2% for BODs and 59.6-66.8% for COD decreases in the water quality indicators. In this study, the effectiveness of L. gibba and L. minor with circulation addition for the removal of four heavy metals (Pb, Ni, Mn, and Cu) from waste water was also investigated. Results from analysis confirmed the accumulation of different metals within the plant and a corresponding decrease of metals in the waste water. At the end of the study of circulation, L. gibba provided the metal removal for Cu, Pb, Ni, and Mn in the waste water as the ratio of 57%, 60%, 60%, and 62%, respectively. In this context, the best results were obtained when the action of L. gibba and L. minor plants, was combined with that of circulation. It is shown that in the presence of L. gibba and L. minor plants that are supplemented with circulation, the national standards of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) 27-33 mgL(-1) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) 62-78 mgL(-1) for L. minor and L. gibba, respectively, were reached after treatment. The new results can be used for design calculations regarding expected removal of pollutants by aquatic floating plants.

MeSH terms

  • Araceae / chemistry
  • Araceae / growth & development
  • Araceae / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biological Oxygen Demand Analysis
  • Kinetics
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy / metabolism*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical