Author(s): Hou FS, Milke MW, Leung DW, MacPherson DJ
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Abstract The potential for phytoremediation of high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons is poorly understood. This study examines variations in phytoremediation performance for a soil contaminated with diesel at 6400 mg TPH kg-1 dry mixture. Experiments on diesel-contaminated soil were conducted in cups using 200 g of soil, and in columns using 4,000 g. Root development and TPH levels were measured in both experiments. In addition, CO2 soil gas concentrations were measured in the column experiments. The results show that ryegrass enhanced the loss of TPH over controls, and that this benefit only became evident after full root establishment. A comparison of the two experiments shows that rooting intensity (mg root kg-1 soil) is the key factor leading to higher TPH loss rates in the smaller containers. No clear difference in TPH loss occurred at 100 and 260 mm depths. Soil gas CO2 did not correlate well with TPH loss rates. The research concludes that an understanding of root development is crucial to evaluating the potential for ryegrass phytoremediation.
This article was published in Environ Technol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology