Friday, September 16, 2011

What is Phytoremediation? Discuss its Applications Civil Services General Studies question paper-II 2010 ( 150 words)

By Ruby Saxena · Last edited about a month ago · Edit Doc
Phytoremediation refers to the use of plants for cleaning up contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water and air. It is a cost-effective and non-polluting way to remove toxic chemicals that contaminate soil and water and also it offers remediation of brownfield sites. Phytoremediation has several methodologies which includes
1.    Phytoextraction or phytoconcentration : contaminant concentrated in roots, stem and foliage of plan.
2.    Phytodegradation: plant enzymes help catalyze breakdown of the contaminant molecule.
3.    Rhizosphere biodegradation: plant roots release nutrients to mircro-organisms which  are active in     
       bio-degradation of the contaminant molecule.
4.    Volatilization : transpiration of organics, selenium and mercury run through leaves of the plant
5.    Stabilization:  ant converts the contaminant into a form which is not bioavailable, or the plant prevents  the spreading of a contaminant plume.

Applications of Phytoremediation
•    The principal application of Phytoremediation is for lightly contaminated soils, sledges and waters where    the material to be treated is at a shallow or medium depth and the area to be treated is large, so that agronomic techniques are economical and applicable for both planting and harvesting.
•    Phytoremediation can be applied for producing energy from controlled combustion of harvested biomass
•    Applied for harvesting valuable metals that are dispersed in soil

•    Applied for providing quick remediation of Brownfield sites.

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