Paper No. 74-12
Presentation Time: 4:05 PM
PHYTOREMEDIATION OF METAL CONTAMINATED SOILS IN THE SOUTHWESTERN REGION OF THE UNITED STATES
Soil and plant samples were collected in stormwater conveyance arroyos in Albuquerque, NM to investigate element accumulation patterns and green chemistry technology significance as means of remediating contaminated sites. Environmental contamination in soils includes heavy metals, anthropogenic compounds, and toxic levels of elements. Bioremediation is a technology that has recently been developing as an economic and environmentally sound alternative to chemical treatments or excavation for restoration of soil quality, which can leave damaged and by-product filled soils. Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) is a plant naturalized to New Mexico that has promising phytoremediation abilities. The samples collected were analyzed for 25 elements using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emissions Spectrometry (ICP-OES). This study examines the bioaccumulation factor (BAF), the translocation factor (TF), and the root to soil ratio of certain elements and Curly Dock. For the plant to be considered an efficient bioremediator, each of these ratios must be larger than 1. Through these calculations, the phytoremediation efficiency of metals such as Boron, Molybdenum, Strontium, and Copper are assessed. Curly Dock was found to be an adequate accumulator for Molybdenum and Strontium with BAFs ranging from 2-9 and 1-2.4, respectively. Curly Dock was also found to be an efficient translocator for Boron and Copper, with TF factors at 1.1 and ranging from 1.2-3.2. This research has further implications in the fields of green chemistry, pollution monitoring and identification, remediation technology, and assessment of soil/plant interrelationships.