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An Emerging Bioremediation Technique - Essay Example

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The paper "An Emerging Bioremediation Technique" highlights that the phytoremediation technique is one of the best ways in which plants can be utilised to decontaminate the land that is polluted with heavy metals and other pollutants. Research is definitely required to enhance its application base…
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An Emerging Bioremediation Technique
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Download file to see previous pages Heavy metals are widely used in industry and these can be a major source of heavy metals leaching into the environment (Water Framework Directive, 2008).
Phytoremediation is a bioremediation technique which uses plants and plant processes to remove, degrade, and make the hazardous materials less toxic. Scientists have predicted that this emerging technology has good scope in the field of pollution control. This technique may offer a cost-effective, non-intrusive, and safe alternative to conventional soil cleanup techniques. Basically, phytoremediation technique makes use of the ability of certain tree, shrub, and grass species to remove, degrade, or immobilize harmful chemicals from the soil.
If we trace back the history of phytoremediation, the science of phytoremediation came from the study of heavy metal tolerance in plants in the late 1980s. To be more precise it is the discovery of hyperaccumulator plants that resulted in the progress of phytoremediation research.
It was found that hyperaccumulator plants which contain levels of heavy metals would be highly toxic to other plants. However, these plants could be easily used to decontaminate soil and extract metals from the soil and, in the process, clean up soil for other less tolerant plants. It was also found that certain plants could also be used to degrade organic contaminants by captivating them from the soil and metabolizing them into less harmful chemicals (uga.edu, N.D.). Phytoremediations also helps in treating water contaminated with metals and/or organic contaminants such as crude oil, solvents, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (Zynda, 2001).
It is not only the plants but also the microorganisms that live in the rhizosphere play a major role in degrading organic chemicals. In general, these organisms use these chemicals as a carbon source in their metabolism. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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