The objective of the present study was to investigate the ability of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) to absorb organic compounds (potassium hydrogen phthalate, sodium tartrate, malathion, 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D), and piroxicam). For the aforementioned purpose, an artificial wetland system (AWS) was constructed and filled with water hyacinth collected from the Valsequillo Reservoir, Puebla, Mexico. Potassium hydrogen phthalate and sodium tartrate were measured in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD). The present study indicated that the water hyacinths absorbed nearly 1.8-16.6 g of COD kg-1 dm (dry mass of water hyacinth), while the absorbance efficiency of BOD was observed to be 45.8%. The results also indicated that the maximum absorbance efficiency of malathion, 2,4-D, and piroxicam was observed to be 67.6%, 58.3%, and 99.1%, respectively. The kinetics of organic compounds fitted different orders as malathion followed a zeroth-order reaction, while 2,4-D and piroxicam followed the first-order reactions. Preliminary assessment of absorption of heavy metals by the water hyacinth in the AWS was observed to be (all values in mg g-1) 7 (Ni), 13.4 (Cd), 16.3 (Pb), and 17.5 (Zn) of dry biomass, thus proving its feasibility to depurate wastewater.
Keywords: 2,4-D; heavy metals; malathion.