eMonocot Cyperaceae

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Rhizofiltration of a Heavy Metal (Lead) Containing Wastewater Using the Wetland Plant Carex pendula

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Yadav, B. K., Siebel, M. A., van Bruggen J. J. A.
Journal:Clean-Soil Air Water
Keywords:cadmium, carex pendula, heavy metal, lead, nutrient-uptake, phytoextraction, phytoremediation, potassium uptake, rhizofiltration, root density, soil, system, toxic metals, uptake model, wastewater

Rhizofiltration is a subset technique of phytoremediation which refers to the approach of using plant biomass for removing contaminants, primarily toxic metals, from polluted water. The effective implementation of this in situ remediation technology requires experimental as well as conceptual insight of plant-water interactions that control the extraction of targeted metal from polluted water resources. Therefore, pot and simulation experiments are used in this study to investigate the rhizofiltration of a lead containing wastewater using plants of Carex pendula, a common wetland plant found in Europe. The metal contaminant extraction along with plant growth and water uptake rates from a wastewater having varying Pb concentration is studied experimentally for 2 wk. The temporal distribution of the metal concentration in the wastewater and the accumulated metal in different compartments of C. pendula at the end are analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometry. Parameters of the metal uptake kinetics are deduced experimentally for predicting the metal removal by root biomass. Further, mass balance equations coupled with the characterized metal uptake kinetics are used for simulating the metal partitioning from the wastewater to its accumulation in the plant biomass. The simulated metal content in wastewater and plant biomass is compared with the observed data showing a good agreement with the later. Results show that C. pendula accumulates considerable amounts of lead, particularly in root biomass, and can be considered for the cleanup of lead contaminated wastewaters in combination with proper biomass disposal alternatives. Also, the findings can be used for performing further non-hydroponics experiment to mimic the real wetland conditions more closely.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith