Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30451–30462 | Cite as

Vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands for the removal of petroleum contaminants from secondary refinery effluent at the Kaduna refining plant (Kaduna, Nigeria)

  • Hassana Ibrahim MustaphaEmail author
  • Hans Johan Jacobus Albert van Bruggen
  • Piet N. L. Lens
Research Article


Typha latifolia-planted vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands (VSSF CWs) and an unplanted microcosm constructed wetland were used for treating secondary refinery wastewater from the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC, Nigeria). Cow dung was applied to the planted wetlands at the start of the experiment and after 3 months to enhance plant growth and petroleum degradation. The T. latifolia-planted VSSF CWs removed 45–99% total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), 99–100% phenol, 70–80% oil and grease, 45–91% chemical oxygen demand (COD), and 46–88% total suspended solids (TSSs). The performance of the unplanted control VSSF CW achieved lower removal efficiencies (15–58% TPH, 86–91% phenol, 16–44% oil and grease, 24–66% COD, and 20–55% TSS). T. latifolia plants had a bioaccumulation factor (BAF) > 1 for phenol, total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphate (TP), suggesting a high removal performance for these contaminants and good translocation ability (TF) for TPH, phenol, oil and grease, and TN, with the exception of TP which was mainly retained in their roots (BAF = 47). This study showed T. latifolia is a good candidate plant to be used in VSSF CWs for polishing secondary refinery wastewater in developing countries.


Constructed wetlands Petroleum pollutants Secondary refinery effluent Treatment performance Bioaccumulation Translocation 



The authors acknowledge the management of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (Kaduna, Nigeria) for giving the opportunity to conduct this research in their company.

Funding information

We also thank the Government of the Netherlands for their financial assistance (the NUFFIC program) (NFP-PhD CF7447/2011) and the TETFUND (Tertiary Education Trust Fund) for the staff training through the Federal University of Technology, Minna (Nigeria).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassana Ibrahim Mustapha
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hans Johan Jacobus Albert van Bruggen
    • 1
  • Piet N. L. Lens
    • 1
  1. 1.UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Bio-Resources EngineeringFederal University of TechnologyMinnaNigeria

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