Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated aliphatic organic compound often detected as pollutant in soils and ground water. “Green technologies” based on phytoremediation were proven to be effective to reclaim organic pollutants (e.g. TCE) and heavy metals from different environmental matrices. In this work, we use Zea mays L. for the removal of high TCE concentrations from medium cultures. In particular, we investigated a sealed bioreactor where the growth medium was contaminated with an increasing amount of TCE, in the range 55–280 mg/L; the removal capability of the maize plants was assessed by means of GC-MS and LC-MS analyses. An accurate mass balance of the system revealed that the plants were able to remove and metabolise TCE with an efficiency up to 20 %, depending on the total amount of TCE delivered in the bioreactor. Morphometric data showed that the growth of Z. mays is not significantly affected by the presence of the pollutant up to a concentration of 280 mg/L, while plants show significant alterations at higher TCE concentrations until the growth is completely inhibited for [TCE] ≃ 2000 mg/L. Finally, the presence of several TCE metabolites, including dichloroacetic and trichloroacetic acids, was detected in the roots and in the aerial part of the plants, revealing that Z. mays follows the green liver metabolic model. These results encourage further studies for the employment of this plant species in phytoremediation processes of soils and waters contaminated by TCE and, potentially, by many other chlorinated solvents.

Use of Zea mays L. in phytoremediation of trichloroethylene

MOCCIA, EMANUELE;INTISO, ADRIANO;CICATELLI, ANGELA;PROTO, Antonio;GUARINO, FRANCESCO;IANNECE, Patrizia;CASTIGLIONE, STEFANO;ROSSI, FEDERICO
2017-01-01

Abstract

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated aliphatic organic compound often detected as pollutant in soils and ground water. “Green technologies” based on phytoremediation were proven to be effective to reclaim organic pollutants (e.g. TCE) and heavy metals from different environmental matrices. In this work, we use Zea mays L. for the removal of high TCE concentrations from medium cultures. In particular, we investigated a sealed bioreactor where the growth medium was contaminated with an increasing amount of TCE, in the range 55–280 mg/L; the removal capability of the maize plants was assessed by means of GC-MS and LC-MS analyses. An accurate mass balance of the system revealed that the plants were able to remove and metabolise TCE with an efficiency up to 20 %, depending on the total amount of TCE delivered in the bioreactor. Morphometric data showed that the growth of Z. mays is not significantly affected by the presence of the pollutant up to a concentration of 280 mg/L, while plants show significant alterations at higher TCE concentrations until the growth is completely inhibited for [TCE] ≃ 2000 mg/L. Finally, the presence of several TCE metabolites, including dichloroacetic and trichloroacetic acids, was detected in the roots and in the aerial part of the plants, revealing that Z. mays follows the green liver metabolic model. These results encourage further studies for the employment of this plant species in phytoremediation processes of soils and waters contaminated by TCE and, potentially, by many other chlorinated solvents.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4675741
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