Field scale phytoremediation experiments on a heavy metal and uranium contaminated site, and further utilization of the plant residues

S. Willscher, D. Mirgorodsky, L. Jablonski, D. Ollivier, D. Merten, G. Büchel, J. Wittig, P. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The remediation of large heavymetal/radionuclide (HM/R) contaminated areas by conventional remediation technologies is often too expensive. Phytoremediation can be an alternative for such areas with slight contaminations, and represents a convenient and sustainable method of remediation. Field site phytoremediation experiments were carried out at a former uraniummining area in East Germany. The test field site is slightly tomoderately contaminated with HM/R; the phytoremediation was performed by combination of phytostabilization and phytoextraction methods combining microbial, soil and plant techniques both at field- and lab scale. Plant experiments with Triticale, Helianthus annuus and Brassica juncea were performed to investigate the influence of biological additives (fungi, bacteria) and soil amendment strategies (increasing pH and organic matter, fertilizing) on biomass production and plant tolerance to heavy metals. In lysimeter experiments, aminimization of HM/R accumulation in soil could be shown, and groundwater contamination as well as seepage water rate and load could be reduced. The final utilization of HM/R loaded plant residues after harvestswas studied by biogas and ethanolic fermentations and by combustion of the plantmaterial. The fate of HM/R in the different by-productswas investigated. Finally, concepts were developed for the utilization of the HM/R loaded plant residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalHydrometallurgy
Volume131-132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Contaminated soil
  • Heavy metals
  • Off-product utilization
  • Phytoremediation
  • Seepage water load
  • Uranium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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