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Transcript of Phytoremediation
Real life example of
What it means:
The use of plants to remove pollutants (organic or inorganic) in soils and waters, and eliminate them.
This technology is very new, but has already produced effective results.
Journal of Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology:
"cost-effective plant-based approach to remediation takes advantage of the remarkable ability of plants to concentrate elements and compounds from the environment and to metabolize various molecules in their tissues"
Recent Research (2011-present day)
-Effect of Genetically Modified Poplars on Soil Microbial Communities during the Phytoremediation of Waste Mine Tailings
-Understanding Plant-Microbe Interactions for Phytoremediation of Petroleum-Polluted Soil
-Use of Brassica Plants in the Phytoremediation and Biofumigation Processes
-Combined effects of cadmium and zinc on growth, tolerance, and metal accumulation in Chara australis and enhanced phytoextraction using EDTA.
Genetically Modified Poplar Phytoremediation
-They compared the microbes in the soil between GM poplars and wild type to detect differences in microbes in the soil. GM plants accumulated heavy metals better and more quickly than non GM plants. Contaminated plots had lowest levels of proteobacteria, and GM plots had highest levels of proteobacteria.
Pollutants from industrial processes cause contamination of important agricultural areas such as water and soils.
Different Types of Phytoremediation
Before phytoremediation was thought of as an alternative route, there were different methods implemented of how to reduce pollution in soils and waters; remediation by conventional engineering techniques.
Excavating and disposing
Or use of chemicals and then returned
These techniques are still used today along side phytoremediation; however, neither of these instances are environmentally friendly,
In 1995, some remediation techniques cost nearly
$1,000 per ton of soil. And one acre weighs approximately 4,500 tons, cleansing this way
was not cost effective at all.
This is for a 3 foot depth
Contaminated with both organic and inorganic
chemicals, but known for the high mercury
content that spilled into the lake.
Fish are contaminated
Lake is a risk to all parts to the Onondaga Lake
In five years, the approximate amount of aquatic
plants has risen from 85 acres to 378 acres.
Habitat for fish
Cleansing of pollutants
The mercury spill into Onondaga has been approximately 165,000 pounds from 1946-1970.
It is so high that the "lake bottom sediments are listed as a hazardous waste site".
The use of plants to remove contaminants from the environment and concentrate them in above-ground plant tissue
Mostly used to recover heavy metals from soils
The total cost is estimated to be between $60,000 to $100,000 per acre, which includes maintenance, monitoring, verification testing, and $10,000 per acre for planting.
Reduction of the mobility of heavy metals in soil
Can be accomplished by decreasing wind-blown dust, and by minimizing soil erosion
A cost efficient method when compared to other technologies
The breakdown of organic contaminants in the soil via enhanced microbial activity in the
Potentially more cost effective than other technologies
A comparison performed in New Jersey using fine-rooted grasses showed that phytostimulation ranges from $10 to $35 per ton of soil
The contaminant, present in the water taken up by the plant, passes through the plant or is modified by the plant, and is released to the atmosphere by evaporation or vaporization
The use of plant roots to absorb, concentrate, and precipitate toxic metals from contaminated groundwater
Cost-effective for large volumes of water having low concentrations of contaminants and prone to low standards
Inexpensive and potentially more effective than comparable technologies
The removal of radionuclides from water using sunflowers was estimated to cost between $2 and $6 per thousand gallons of water treated which includes waste disposal and capital costs
The breakdown of organic contaminants isolated by plants via:
Metabolic processes within the plant; or
The effect of compounds, such as enzymes, produced by the plant
This type of algae was used to extract heavy metals for purification. Specifically, they tested interactions of Zn and Cd ions with C. australis and also a chelating agent, EDTA, to measure differences in C. australis growth, capacity for metal tolerance, and uptake.
This C3 grass plant is used for phytoremediation of petroleum-polluted areas. Current research focused on microbial interactions between Phragmites australis in petroleum-contaminated conditions. What was concluded was that phytoremediation was most effective during early vegetative stages of growth opposed to late veg or reproductive.
The effects of soil petroleum concentration on the numbers of microbial genes at early stage of vegetative growth (black circle), late stage of vegetative growth (red circle), and reproductive stage (green circle).
A majority of international endowments for research regarding phytoremediation focus on phytostimulation (use of rhizosphere microbe communities in conjunction with plants which sustain them to purify the soil). The interactions between microbial communities and phytoremediation still requires numerous research to increase the efficacy of phytoremediation.
For all types of phytorememdiation
Salt, D. E., R. D. Smith, and I. Raskin. "Phytoremediation." Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 49.1 (1998): 643-68. Web.
This journal is peer-reviewed
Large area coverage
Not as effective with high concentrations
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)