Effects of feeding mode on the performance, life span and greenhouse gas emissions of a vertical flow macrophyte assisted vermifilter

Rajneesh Singh, Chittaranjan Ray, Daniel N. Miller, Lisa M. Durso, Yulie Meneses, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Matteo D’Alessio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to investigate the impact of intermittent feeding on performance, clogging, and gaseous emission on macrophyte assisted vermifiltration (MAVF) based treatment system. Synthetic slaughterhouse wastewater was applied to two different integrated vertical flow based MAVFs. Triplicates were used throughout the study. Eisenia fetida earthworms were added to MAVFs, and Carex muskingmenis plants were planted. Wastewater was applied to the reactors on 1) intermittent (8 h/day) (IMAVF) and 2) continuous (24 h/day) (CMAVF) basis. The average chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen, and total phosphorous removals achieved by the IMAVF were 80.2 ± 1.6%, 53.9 ± 1.3% and 66.5 ± 1% respectively, and 68.3 ± 1.3%, 61.2 ± 1.4%, and 60.5 ± 1.4% by the CMAVF, respectively. The diffusion of air to the bedding of IMAVFs during no-flow conditions facilitated higher organics oxidation, adsorption of phosphorous, nitrification, and ammonification. At the end of the study, hydraulic conductivity of IMAVF and CMAVF were found to be 0.036 cm/s and 0.037 cm/s, respectively. CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from IMAVF were 245.5 ± 38.0 mg C/m2, 5.0 ± 4.6 mg C/m2 and 2513.5 ± 2629.9 μg N/m2 respectively, while CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from CMAVF were 123.3 ± 14.5 mg C/m2, 74.8±45.2 mg C/m2 and 328.4 ± 93.4 μg N/m2, respectively. Intermittent application of influent could be considered for improving the performance and lifespan of MAVFs, causing lower environmental footprints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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