We tested the suitability of oyster shell (OS) as a substrate for phosphorus removal in constructed wetlands (CWs) treating swine wastewater. OS is proven to have a significant phosphorus adsorption capacity; significant phosphorus removal was achieved in vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands (VSSFs) that were filled with OS and used to treat swine wastewater. In the VSSF system, OS adsorption and precipitation played the greatest role in phosphorus removal, and the phosphorus distribution in the substrate layers was attributed to the vertical flow state of wastewater in the system. Ca–P was the predominant form of phosphorus in the system. Overall, the study results showed that OS could be used for phosphorus removal in CWs. OS also allowed for reuse of a waste substance, making the overall system more environmentally friendly.

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