Investigation of nitrate removal from agricultural drainage water using PRB filter in loamy sand and sandy loam soil

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Water Engineering and Sciences, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Yasouj, Yasouj, Iran


This study is focused on the treatment and reuse of agricultural drainage water using permeable reactive barriers (PRBs). To construct the physical model, a cubic iron tank with dimensions of 1×1×1 is used. Drainage pipes with a standard diameter of 16 mm are installed at a depth of 20 cm. To determine the depth of the static level, piezometer tubes are used in the model. After permeability tests and evaluating the obtained results as well as considering the availability of materials, the mixture weight ratios of the materials in PRB are selected as follows: 25% sand, 25% anthracite, 20% zeolite, 20% iron borings, and 10% poplar wood sawdust. The permeability coefficient of the PRB with this mixture after complete saturation over 24 hours is equal to 0.0322 cm/s. An initial nitrate concentration of 100 mg/liter is considered for the column to obtain the break through curve of the synthetic wastewater. It takes 15 minutes to detect the nitrate breakthrough. The breakthrough curve is considered a normal curve, and the only unknown of the problem, i.e., the longitudinal diffusion coefficient (D_L), is obtained by trial and error as 1.5×〖10〗^(-7) m^2⁄s, which is an acceptable value. The Peclet number for the proposed PRB is 14.344, which indicates the identical effects of the dispersion and diffusion processes. In this study, the drainage filter, which includes PRB and sandy loam soil, is able to eliminate nitrate by 99.44% after 24 days.


Main Subjects