Promoted biodegradation and microbiological effects of petroleum hydrocarbons by Impatiens balsamina L. with strong endurance

Zhang Cai, Qixing Zhou, Shengwei Peng, Kenan Li
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2010 November 15, 183 (1): 731-7
Phytoremediation is a promising green technology for cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) in contaminated environment. Based on the objective of identifying special ornamental plants for the effective biodegradation of PHCs, the efficacy of Impatiens balsamina L. to phytoremedy petroleum contaminated soil from the Shengli Oil Field in Dongying City, Shandong Province, China, was further examined in a field plot-culture experiment under greenhouse conditions. After a 4-month culture period, the average degradation rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) by the plant was up to 18.13-65.03%, greatly higher than that (only 10.20-35.61%) in their corresponding controls by natural degradation. Among petroleum compositions saturated hydrocarbons had the highest degradation. The release of polar metabolic byproducts during phytoremediation of contaminated soils with ≥20,000 mg/kg of PHCs by I. balsamina may occur. Some growth indexes of I. balsamina indicated that the plant had a good tolerance to contaminated soils with ≤10,000 mg/kg of PHCs. Moreover rhizosphere bacteria and fungi became the dominant microbial population in soils with 5000 and 10,000 mg/kg of PHCs and were probably responsible for TPH degradation. Thus, I. balsamina L. could be a potential ornamental plant for effective phytoremediation of contaminated soils with ≤10,000 mg/kg of PHCs.

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