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Jidapa Plaimart

Improving the performance of subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SFCWs).


Project title

Effects of biochar and activated carbon amendment on domestic wastewater micropollutant retention and subsequent biodegradation in subsurface flow constructed wetlands

Project supervisors

Project description

We can treat domestic wastewater using on-site treatment systems such as septic tanks. But micropollutants are not adequately removed from their effluents. This can have an adverse effect on natural watercourses, wildlife and humans.

Subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SFCWs) are alternative low-cost water treatment systems. We can use SFCWs as an effluent polishing unit to improve septic tank effluent quality. We can improve performance by using biochar within the filter medium. The biochar is produced from agricultural wastes or a strong sorbent material like activated carbon.

This project will investigate the use of biochar and activated carbon in the biofilter medium of SFCWs. I will explore how well the medium removes micropollutants from septic tank effluent. I will also identify the microbial community involved in the removal process. I will use a combination of chemical analysis including SPE-GC-MS, SPE-LC-MS and molecular techniques. I will use these techniques for microbial characterisation such as next generation sequencing.


  • BEng Architectural Environment Engineering, University of Nottingham
  • MSc Environmental Engineering, Newcastle University