The Potential of Constructed Wetland Plants for Bioethanol Production

  • Yan LinEmail author
  • Yafang Zhao
  • Xinyi Ruan
  • Tyler J. Barzee
  • Zhenyu Zhang
  • Hainan Kong
  • Xiaoling ZhangEmail author


Five plant species from two Chinese constructed wetland (CW) environments were studied for the production of bioethanol using simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). Fourteen CW plant species were found in the constructed wetlands and four species (Phragmites australis, Fargesia spathacea F., Thalia dealbata, and Juncus effusus L.) containing the highest contents of holocellulose (between 50 and 55% d.b.) as well as a highly abundant invasive species (Eupatorium adenophorum) were selected for further study of bioethanol production. Among the selected species, P. australis, T. dealbata, and J. effusus L. exhibited high glucose conversion efficiencies between 42 and 46% of the sample dry mass. These three species were then subjected to SSF at 38 °C with Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4742 and obtained ethanol titers between 30 and 35 g/L. These results indicate promise for the application of CW plants in second-generation biofuel production.


Wetland plant Biomass Ethanol production Enzymatic hydrolysis SSF 


Funding Information

The Major Science and Technology Program sponsored the research project for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2009ZX07101-015-003) and the Shanghai Natural Science Foundation (No. 11ZR1417200).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Li X, Ding A, Zheng L (2018) Relationship between design parameters and removal efficiency for constructed wetlands in China. Ecol Eng 123:135–140. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Resende JD, Nolasco MA, Pacca SA (2019) Life cycle assessment and costing of wastewater treatment systems coupled to constructed wetlands. Resour Conserv Recycl 148:170–177. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shingare RP, Thawale PR, Raghunathan K (2019) Constructed wetland for wastewater reuse: role and efficiency in removing enteric pathogens. Environ Manag 246:444–461. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liu D, Ge Y, Chang J, Peng C, Gu B, Chan GYS, Wu X (2009) Constructed wetlands in China: recent developments and future challenges. Front Ecol Environ 7(5):261–268. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    He M, Hu Q, Luo A, Mao C, Zhu Q, Pan K, Li Q (2011) Assessment of constructed wetland plant biomass for energy utilization. Chin J Appl Environ Biol 17(4):527–531. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jácome JA, Molina J, Suárez J, Mosqueira G, Torres D (2016) Performance of constructed wetland applied for domestic wastewater treatment: case study at Boimorto (Galicia, Spain). Ecol Eng 95:324–329. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ciria MP, Solano ML, Soriano P (2005) Role of macrophyte Typha latifolia in a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment and assessment of its potential as a biomass fuel. Biosyst Eng 92(4):535–544. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hill DT, Payton JD (1998) Influence of temperature on treatment efficiency of constructed wetlands. Trans ASAE 41(2):393–396. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jing SR, Lin YF, Lee DY, Wang TW (2001) Nutrient removal from polluted river water by using constructed wetlands. Bioresour Technol 76(2):131–135. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Liu D, Wu X, Chang J, Gu B, Min Y, Ge Y, Shi Y, Xue H, Peng C, Wu J (2012) Constructed wetlands as biofuel production systems. Nat Clim Chang 2:190–194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dewi CSU, Sukandar (2017) Important value index and biomass (estimation) of seagrass on Talango island, Sumenep, Madura. AIP Conference Proceedings 1908, 030005. doi:
  12. 12.
    Wang Z., Lin Y., Wu D., Zhang W., Kong H. (2018) Optimisation of enzymatic saccharification of wheat straw pre-treated with sodium hydroxide. Hong Kong, China, 10th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liu X, Zhao YF, Zhang XL (2018) Plant community diversity in Dengbeiqiao constructed wetland and ecological revetment of Yonganjiang River in Erhai Region in 2012. Wetland Sci 16(1):45–50. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sluiter A, Hames B, Ruiz R, Scarlata C, Sluiter J, Templeton D, Crocker D (2012) Determination of structural carbohydrates and lignin in biomass. Laboratory Analytical Procedure. National Renewable Laboratory, NREL/ TP-510-42618, USAGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhang W, Lin Y, Zhang Q, Wang X, Wu D, Kong H (2013) Optimisation of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of NaOH-pretreated wheat straw for ethanol production. Fuel 112:331–337. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kebin Z, Yunfang L, Rui L (2007) Edge effect of wetland and arid grassland community ecotone in semi-arid of China. Acta Bot Boreali-Occident Sin 5:989–994. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Li R, Zhang K, Bian Z, Liu X, You W (2009) Study on α and β diversity of wetland ecosystem plants in semiarid areas. J Arid Land Resour Environ 23(9):139–145. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jung SJ, Kim SH, Chung IM (2015) Comparison of lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose contents for biofuels utilization among 4 types of lignocellulosic crops. Biomass Bioenergy 83:322–327. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Su X, Cai L, Tian K, Hu Q, Yu S, Li Q, Xiong X (2014) Research of biomass accumulation and saccharification characteristics of Phragmites australis in Dongting Lake. Chin Agric Bull 30(17):171–174Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Peng H, Gao L, Li M, Shen Y, Qian Q, Li X (2014) Steam explosion-ionic liquid pretreatments on wetland lignocellulosic biomasses of Phragmites (sp.) and Thalia dealbata for bio H2 conversion. RSC Adv 4(69):36603–36614. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chapple C, Ladisch M, Meilan R (2007) Loosening lignin's grip on biofuel production. Nat Biotechnol 25(7):746–748. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Williams CL, Westover TL, Emerson RM, Tumuluru JS, Li C (2016) Sources of biomass feedstock variability and the potential impact on biofuels production. Bioenerg Res 9(1):1–14. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Li Z, Fei B, Jiang Z (2014) Study of sulfite pretreatment to prepare bamboo for enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol fermentation. Chem Technol Fuels Oils 50(3):189–196. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wyman CE, Dale BE, Elander RT, Holtzapple M, Ladisch MR, Lee YY, Mitchinson C, Saddler JN (2009) Comparative sugar recovery and fermentation data following pretreatment of poplar wood by leading technologies. Biotechnol Prog 25(2):333–339. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Chang X (2001) Investigation on alcoholic fermentation with lignocellulose. Liq-Mak Sci Technol (2):39–42. doi:
  26. 26.
    Zhao Y, Damgaard A, Christensen TH (2018) Bioethanol from corn stover – a review and technical assessment of alternative biotechnologies. Prog Energ Combust 67:275–291. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zabed H, Sahu JN, Suely A, Boyce AN, Faruq G (2017) Bioethanol production from renewable sources: current perspectives and technological progress. Renew Sust Energ Rev 71:475–501. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yafang Zhao
    • 2
  • Xinyi Ruan
    • 1
  • Tyler J. Barzee
    • 3
  • Zhenyu Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hainan Kong
    • 1
  • Xiaoling Zhang
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Southwest Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute of ChinaChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Environmental Science and EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  5. 5.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations