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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 683579, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/683579
Research Article

Phytoremediation Potential of Vetiver System Technology for Improving the Quality of Palm Oil Mill Effluent

1Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2The Vetiver Network International, Asia and Oceania, Brisbane 4069, Australia
3Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Agro Product Unit, Engineering and Processing Division, Jalan Sekolah, Pekan Bangi Lama, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
5Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 3 October 2014; Revised 19 November 2014; Accepted 20 November 2014; Published 11 December 2014

Academic Editor: Steven L. Suib

Copyright © 2014 Negisa Darajeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Palm oil mill effluent (POME), a pollutant produced by the palm oil industry, was treated by the Vetiver system technology (VST). This technology was applied for the first time to treat POME in order to decrease biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). In this study, two different concentrations of POME (low and high) were treated with Vetiver plants for 2 weeks. The results showed that Vetiver was able to reduce the BOD up to 90% in low concentration POME and 60% in high concentration POME, while control sets (without plant) only was able to reduce 15% of BOD. The COD reduction was 94% in low concentration POME and 39% in high concentration POME, while control just shows reduction of 12%. Morphologically, maximum root and shoot lengths were 70 cm, the number of tillers and leaves was 344 and 86, and biomass production was 4.1 kg m−2. These results showed that VST was effective in reducing BOD and COD in POME. The treatment in low concentration was superior to the high concentration. Furthermore, biomass of plant can be considered as a promising raw material for biofuel production while high amount of biomass was generated in low concentration of POME.