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Tag: Phytoremediation
  • A Review of Algal Phytoremediation Potential to Sequester Nutrients from Eutrophic Surface Water

    Abstract: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and coastal hypoxic zones are evidence of cultural nutrient enrichment affecting public health and water supplies, aquatic ecosystem health, and economic well-being in the United States. Recognition of the far-reaching impacts of Midwest agriculture has led to establishing nutrient reduction objectives for surface waters feeding the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Erie, and many smaller water bodies. Municipal nutrient enrichment impacts have been addressed by increasing levels of sewage treatment and waste management through the Clean Water Act era, but HABs rebounded in the 1990s because of non-point source nutrient enrichment. HAB control and treatment includes watershed and waterbody treatments to reduce loading and address outbreaks. Systems to remove nutrients from impaired waters are expensive to build and operate. This review of algal production systems summarizes emerging algal water treatment technologies and considers their potential to effectively sequester nutrients and atmospheric carbon from hundreds of eutrophic reservoirs and DoD wastewater treatment facilities while producing useful biomass feedstock using solar energy. Algal water treatment systems including open ponds, photobioreactors, and algal turf scrubbers® can be used to grow biomass for biofuel, wastewater treatment, and commercial products. This review recommends continuing research on surface water nutrient reduction potential with algal turf scrubber productivity pilot studies, preliminary site design, and biomass utilization investigations.
  • Metal Accumulation Capacity in Indigenous Alaska Vegetation Growing on Military Training Lands

    Abstract: Permafrost thawing could increase soil contaminant mobilization in the environment. Our objective was to quantify metal accumulation capacities for plant species and functional groups common to Alaskan military training ranges where elevated soil metal concentrations were likely to occur. Plant species across multiple military training range sites were collected. Metal content in shoots and roots was compared to soil metal concentrations to calculate bioconcentration and translocation factors. On average, grasses accumulated greater concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn relative to forbs or shrubs, and bioconcentrated greater concentrations of Ni and Pb. Shrubs bioconcentrated greater concentrations of Sb. Translocation to shoots was greatest among the forbs. Three native plants were identified as candidate species for use in metal phytostabilization applications. Elymus macrourus, a grass, bioconcentrated substantial concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn in roots with low translocation to shoots. Elaeagnus commutata, a shrub, bioconcentrated the greatest amounts of Sb, Ni, and Cr, with a low translocation factor. Solidago decumbens bio-concentrated the greatest amount of Sb among the forbs and translocated the least amount of metals. A combination of forb, shrub, and grass will likely enhance phytostabilization of heavy metals in interior Alaska soils through increased functional group diversity.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Influences of U Sources and Forms on Its Bioaccumulation in Indian Mustard and Sunflower

    Abstract: Anthropogenic activities, such as ore mining and processing, nuclear power generation, and weapon tests, have generated uranium (U) contamination to soils and waters. The mobility and bioavailability of U are influenced by its sources, speciation, and plant species. Phytoremediation has emerged as an environmentally friendly, cost-effective green technology to remediate radioisotope-and metalcontaminated soils. The main objective of this study was to explore the feasibility using sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) in cleaning up soils with UO2, UO3, and UO2(NO3)2. Uranium was found to be bioaccumulated in plant roots more than plant shoots. Uranium uptake by both plant species was significantly higher from the UO3- and uranyl-contaminated soils than from UO2- contaminated soils. UO3- and UO2(NO3)2-contaminated soils showed higher exchangeable, weak acid extractable, and labile U than the UO2-contaminated soils. After a growing season, three U forms decreased as redistribution/transformation of U resulted in U species with lower extractability. This study indicates the importance of U speciation in soil with regard to the potential use of sunflower and Indian mustard for phytoremediation of U-contaminated soils.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Electrokinetic-Enhanced Phytoremediation of Uranium-contaminated Soil Using Sunflower and Indian Mustard

    Abstract: Electrokinetic-enhanced phytoremediation is an effective technology to decontaminate heavy metal contaminated soil. In this study, we examined the effects of electrokinetic treatments on plant uptake and bioaccumulation of U from soils with various U sources. Redistribution of uranium in soils as affected by planting and electrokinetic treatments was investigated. The soil was spiked with 100mg kg⁻¹ UO₂, UO3, and UO₂(NO₃)₂. After sunflower and Indian mustard grew for 60 days, 1 voltage of direct-current was applied across the soils for 9 days. The results indicated that U uptake in both plants were significantly enhanced by electrokinetic treatments from soil with UO₃ and UO₂(NO₃)₂. U was more accumulated in roots than in shoots. Electrokinetic treatments were effective on lowering soil pH near the anode region. Overall, uranium (U) removal efficiency reached 3.4–4.3% from soils with UO₃ and uranyl with both plants while that from soil with UO₂ was 0.7–0.8%. Electrokinetic remediation treatment significantly enhanced the U removal efficiency (5–6%) from soils with UO₃ and uranyl but it was 0.8–1.3% from soil with UO₂, indicating significant effects of U species and electrokinetic enhancement on U bioaccumulation. This study implies the potential feasibility of electrokinetic-enhanced phytoremediation of U soils with sunflower and Indian mustard.