Plants boost pyrrhotite-driven nitrogen removal in constructed wetlands

Cheng SHEN, Liti SU, Yaqian ZHAO, Wenbo LIU, Ranbin LIU, Fuhao ZHANG, Yun SHI, Jie WANG, Qiuqi TANG, Yan YANG, Yu Bon MAN, Jin ZHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrrhotite is a promising electron donor for autotrophic denitrification. Using pyrrhotite as the substrate in constructed wetlands (CWs) can enhance the nitrogen removal performance in carbon-limited wastewater treatment. However, the role of plants in pyrrhotite-integrated CW is under debate as the oxygen released from plant roots may destroy the anoxic condition for autotrophic denitrification. This study compared pyrrhotite-integrated CWs with and without plants and identified the effects of plants' presence in nitrogen removal, pyrrhotite oxidized dissolution, and microbial community. The results show that plants enhanced the TN removal significantly (from 41.6±3.9% to 97.1±2.6%). Plants can accelerate the PAD in CW through the strengthening of pyrrhotite dissolution. Enriched functional (Thiobacillus and Acidiferrobacter) and a more complex bacterial co-occurrence network has been found in CW with plants. This study identified the role of plants in PAD acceleration, providing an in-depth understanding of pyrrhotite in CW systems. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128240
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date01 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


Shen, C., Su, L., Zhao, Y., Liu, W., Liu, R., Zhang, F., . . . Zhang, J. (2023). Plants boost pyrrhotite-driven nitrogen removal in constructed wetlands. Bioresource Technology, 367. Retrieved from


  • Constructed wetland
  • Plants
  • Pyrrhotite
  • Denitrification
  • Pyrrhotite dissolution


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