Biological reconditioning of sodium enriched zeolite by halophytes: case study of dairy farm effluent treatment

Ezra Orlofsky, Simon Chernoivanov, Asi Asiag, Ido Maor, Nimrod Levi, M. Iggy Litaor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Constructed wetlands (CW) containing clinoptilolite zeolite and planted with five halophytes (Sesvium portulacastrum, Juncus effusus, Suaeda monoica, Inula crithmoides and Sarcocornia fruticosa) were irrigated with treated dairy farm effluent. The CW were operated for two years with retention time ranging from 2 to 7 d. Plant species did not affect SAR which was reduced in all treatments from 4.85 to 2.59 (mmol/L)0.5 due to ion exchange in zeolite. Halophytes increased evapotranspiration to 30 mm d−1 which countered sodium removal. Zeolite planted with Sesuvium portulacastrum had 15% lower sodium percentage (ESP, F1,118 = 12.53, p = 0.0006) and 5% higher calcium percentage (F1,118 = 7.44, p = 0.007) compared to non-planted zeolite, indicating reconditioning of zeolite with respect to sodium. Enhancement of SAR removal capability by reconditioned zeolite was demonstrated in 24 h batch experiments on excavated zeolite (n = 6) with saline water (SAR = 0, 17.6, 62.8, and 122.8 (mmol/L)0.5). Zeolite from Sesuvium planted CW reduced SAR to a greater extent than non-planted zeolite and was significant for inlet SAR 17.6 which was reduced to 3.33 ± 0.3 (mmol/L)0.5 compared to 3.68 ± 0.12 by non-planted zeolite (p < 0.05). In-situ biological reconditioning of active matrix in CW by tailored macrophytes is a novel strategy that may be applicable to other pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1012
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Halophyte
  • reconditioning
  • zeolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological reconditioning of sodium enriched zeolite by halophytes: case study of dairy farm effluent treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this