Constructed Wetlands to Treat Petroleum Wastewater

  • Hassana Ibrahim MustaphaEmail author
  • Piet N. L. Lens
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


Petroleum refining industries extract large volumes of freshwater for the process of refining crude oil. Thus, large volumes of wastewater are generated. These wastewaters contain contaminants that are neurotoxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic. Petroleum-related industries have to comply with strict regulations by regulatory authorities; these have led them to explore many treatment technologies for effluent management. However, conventional wastewater treatment technologies have higher energy and capital requirement than biological treatment systems. In addition, their processes can lead to incomplete decomposition of contaminants which can generate by-products that are often toxic to both humans and the environment. Thus, these by-products require further treatment.

This chapter reviews literature specifically on the use of constructed wetland (CW) systems for treatment of petroleum-contaminated wastewater from conventional oil and gas industry. CWs can effectively treat multiple contaminants in secondary and tertiary wastewater with less production of sludge. They also have the advantages of providing an ecologically friendly approach with low energy demand and operational cost. Therefore, they are a viable alternative to mechanical wastewater treatment systems. CWs can also be intensified with forced aeration to enhance aerobic biodegradation rates of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated wastewaters to non-detectable levels.


Petroleum Wastewater Contaminants Constructed wetlands Plants Microorganisms Substrates 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Bioresources EngineeringFederal University of Technology MinnaMinnaNigeria

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