Volume 11, Issue 42 (winter 2008)                   JCPP 2008, 11(42): 417-426 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (12138 Views)

  Phytoremediation is a new technology that employs plants to remediate contaminated soils. This method compared to those that involve the use of large scale energy consuming equipments is an inexpensive method. Phytoremediation models are useful tools to further understanding the governing processes and also to manage the contaminated soils. A thorough literature review indicates that very few models have been developed for phytoremediation due to the complexity of the phenomena. The objective of this study was to develop a simple model for phytoremediation of lead and cadmium. A new formulation of phytoremediation was established based on soil and plant responses to heavy metal pollution. A large quantity of a sandy loam soil was thoroughly mixed to ensure homogeneous different concentration levels by lead and cadmium. These contaminated soils were transferred to some plastic pots. Land Cress (Barbarea verna) and Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) seeds were germinated in pots containing 8 kg of contaminated soil. Plants were harvested at five time intervals. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in the plant and soil samples were digested by wet oxidation and 4 M Nitric acid digestion methods, respectively, and were determined by flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry methods. Proposed models then were calibrated using the collected data and validated quantitatively. The results indicated that the soil adsorption isotherms followed a linear form for both Pb and Cd concentrations. The results also indicated that the phytoremediation rate of Pb by Land Cress and Spinach are first-order function of Pb concentration in soil. In contrast, a zero-order function of soil Cd contaminations was obtained. Combining these two results of soil and plant responses to Pb and Cd pollution, a simple model with reasonable performance was derived to predict the time needed for remediation of soil Pb (R2 > 0.98). However, in the case of Cd, the derived models appeared to be useful to make only some overall estimations of the remediation (R20.70).


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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General