Chromium (Cr) and copper (Cu) are pollutants with a strong environmental impact. “Green biotechnology” as phytoremediation represents a sustainability opportunity for soil reclamation. In this study, we evaluated the possibility to reclaim agricultural soils located in the Solofrana valley, contaminated by Cr or Cu. Chromium contamination derives by repeated flooding events of Solofrana rivers containing Cr because of leather tanning plants, while Cu soil pollution was due to the use of Cu-rich pesticides in agriculture. Both metals showed a very low bioavailability. In order to perform an assisted phytoremediation of polluted fields, we carried out a preliminary ex situ experimentation testing for the first time sunflowers (cv. Pretor) and chelants (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and/or ethylene diamine disuccinate (EDDS)), useful when metal bioavailability is low. No symptoms of toxicity were observed in sunflowers grown on both soils, while biomass was improved when EDDS was added. Cr and Cu bioavailability was only slightly enhanced by chelants at the end of the treatments. Both Cr and Cu were mainly accumulated in the roots; moreover, Cu was also translocated to the aboveground organs in the presence of EDTA. The ex situ experimentation demonstrated that assisted phytoremediation is a very slow process not useful in the case of persistent pollution.

Reclamation of Cr-contaminated or Cu-contaminated agricultural soils using sunflower and chelants

CICATELLI, ANGELA;GUARINO, FRANCESCO;CASTIGLIONE, STEFANO
2017

Abstract

Chromium (Cr) and copper (Cu) are pollutants with a strong environmental impact. “Green biotechnology” as phytoremediation represents a sustainability opportunity for soil reclamation. In this study, we evaluated the possibility to reclaim agricultural soils located in the Solofrana valley, contaminated by Cr or Cu. Chromium contamination derives by repeated flooding events of Solofrana rivers containing Cr because of leather tanning plants, while Cu soil pollution was due to the use of Cu-rich pesticides in agriculture. Both metals showed a very low bioavailability. In order to perform an assisted phytoremediation of polluted fields, we carried out a preliminary ex situ experimentation testing for the first time sunflowers (cv. Pretor) and chelants (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and/or ethylene diamine disuccinate (EDDS)), useful when metal bioavailability is low. No symptoms of toxicity were observed in sunflowers grown on both soils, while biomass was improved when EDDS was added. Cr and Cu bioavailability was only slightly enhanced by chelants at the end of the treatments. Both Cr and Cu were mainly accumulated in the roots; moreover, Cu was also translocated to the aboveground organs in the presence of EDTA. The ex situ experimentation demonstrated that assisted phytoremediation is a very slow process not useful in the case of persistent pollution.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4683635
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