Constructed wetlands for biofuel production and nitrate removal in an agricultural watershed: A simulation and optimization model

Aras Zygas, Tze Ling Ng, Ximing Cai, Wayland Eheart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Constructed wetlands offer an effective nutrient removal mechanism while also providing an ideal environment for the growth of grasses similar to those currently being considered as feedstocks for ethanol production. In the present work, a hypothetical wetland system is designed to treat non-point source nutrient loadings and produce harvestable biomass. Through the integration of a biomass production model, a nutrient removal model and a cost model, the relationship between the costs of wetland construction, benefits from biomass sales, and mass nutrient removal can be seen for various wetland sizes and water throughput capacities. Several cost scenarios were simulated and the wetland showed a profit only when construction, operation and maintenance costs were excluded from the analysis. From a cost efficiency standpoint, there exists an optimal wetland size and pumping capacity for the hypothetical site near Camargo, Illinois which is assumed to draw water from the Embarras River. A 34 ha wetland with a 2.3 m3/s design pumping capacity was found to have the maximum cost efficiency with a cost of 4.8 $/kg of NO3-N removed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011
Subtitle of host publicationBearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
Pages3327-3331
Number of pages5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 2011
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Palm Springs, CA, United States
Duration: May 22 2011May 26 2011

Publication series

NameWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress

Other

OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability
CountryUnited States
CityPalm Springs, CA
Period5/22/115/26/11

Keywords

  • Optimization models
  • Sustainable development
  • United States
  • Watersheds
  • Wetlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Constructed wetlands for biofuel production and nitrate removal in an agricultural watershed: A simulation and optimization model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Zygas, A., Ng, T. L., Cai, X., & Eheart, W. (2011). Constructed wetlands for biofuel production and nitrate removal in an agricultural watershed: A simulation and optimization model. In World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress (pp. 3327-3331). (World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress). https://doi.org/10.1061/41173(414)347