Effect of treated sewage characteristics on duckweed biomass production and microbial communities

Hiroshi Iwano, Syo Hatohara, Tadashi Tagawa, Hideyuki Tamaki, Yu You Li, Kengo Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Duckweed biomass production in a duckweed pond fed with three differently treated sewage (i.e. sewage treated by primary sedimentation (PS); conventional activated sludge process (CAS); and downflow hanging sponge process (DHS)) was evaluated in order to assess the effects of water quality on biomass yield. Higher and stable biomass production was observed when the duckweed pond was fed with PS or DHS-effluent than with CAS-effluent, evidently due to the difference in nutrient loads. Availability of nutrients, especially phosphorus, affected the biomass production rate: higher the nutrient, faster the production. Microbial community analysis revealed that the members of Rhizobiales were likely to contribute to stable and high biomass growth. From the results of the study, a sewage treatment system consisting of a primary sedimentation followed by a duckweed pond and a tertiary treatment unit can be proposed to maximize biomass production without compromising treatment objectives. Size and operational parameters of the duckweed pond should be determined primarily based on the nutrient availability in the influent water to maximize duckweed growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-302
Number of pages11
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 15


  • Biomass production
  • Duckweed
  • Microbial community
  • Phosphorus load
  • Sewage


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