Phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils by Mirabilis Jalapa L. in a greenhouse plot experiment

Shengwei Peng, Qixing Zhou, Zhang Cai, Zhineng Zhang
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2009 September 15, 168 (2): 1490-6
Phytoremediation of soils contaminated by organic chemicals is a challenging problem in environmental science and engineering. On the basis of identifying remediation plants from ornamentals, the remediation capability of Mirabilis Jalapa L. to treat petroleum contaminated soil from the Shengli Oil Field in Dongying City, Shandong Province, China was further investigated using a field plot experiment carried out in a greenhouse. The results showed that the average efficiency of removing total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) by M. jalapa over the 127-day culture period was high, up to 41.61-63.20%, when the removal rate by natural attenuation was only 19.75-37.92%. The maximum reduction occurred in the saturated hydrocarbon fraction compared with other components of petroleum contaminants. According to the qualitative and quantitative parameters including plant height, fresh weight, dry weight, root length, root weight and visual stress symptoms, it was indicated that M. jalapa had a peculiar tolerance to petroleum contamination and could effectively promote the degradation of TPHs when the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil was equal to and lower than 10,000 mg/kg. The population of living microorganisms in the planted soil could be also adaptive to <or=10,000 mg/kg petroleum contaminated soil. On the whole, M. jalapa is a widely spread species that can be effectively applied to phytoremediation of <or=10,000 mg/kg petroleum contaminated soil.

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