Dynamics of copper and tetracyclines during composting of water hyacinth biomass amended with peat or pig manure

Xin Lu, Lizhu Liu, Ruqin Fan, Jia Luo, Shaohua Yan, Zed Rengel, Zhenhua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Composting is one of the post-treatment methods for phytoremediation plants. Due to a high potential of water hyacinth to accumulate pollutants, the physicochemical parameters, microbial activity as well as fates of copper (Cu) and tetracyclines (TCs) were investigated for the different amended water hyacinth biomass harvested from intensive livestock and poultry wastewater, including unamended water hyacinth (W), water hyacinth amended with peat (WP), and water hyacinth amended with pig manure (WPM) during the composting process. Pig manure application accelerated the composting process as evidenced by an increase of temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), NH4-N, as well as functional diversity of microbial communities compared to W and WP treatments. Composting process was slowed down by high Cu, but not by TCs. The addition of peat significantly increased the residual fraction of Cu, while pig manure addition increased available Cu concentration in the final compost. Cu could be effectively transformed into low available (oxidizable) and residual fractions after fermentation. In contrast, less than 0.5% of initial concentrations of TCs were determined at the end of 60-day composting for all treatments in the final composts. The dissipation of TCs was accelerated by the high Cu concentration during composting. Therefore, composting is an effective method for the post-treatment and resource utilization of phytoremediation plants containing Cu and/or TCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23584–23597
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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