Phytoremediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Soil
Arsenic is a contaminant of soil in orchards, farms, and other sites in the United States and other countries, posing significant health risks to humans and animals. Currently, there is no cost-effective method to clean arsenic-contaminated soils. The main objective of this research is to test the feasibility of using a recently discovered arsenic-hyperaccumulating fern (Pleris vittata) to remove arsenic from contaminated soils. Preliminary data demonstrate that when grown on an arsenic-contaminated soil, this fern achieves a shoot arsenic concentration more than 200 fold higher than that of any other plant species tested, and concentrates arsenic in its shoots at levels more than 50 times the soil concentration without the addition of chelating agents or other soil amendments. In this research, we will determine the biomass production and arsenic uptake of P. vittata grown in an arsenic-contaminated farm, and demonstrate significant arsenic removal by this fern from soils collected from four other agricultural sites. We will also assess the effects of soil pH, arsenic species, agronomic factors such as shading and plant density, and targeted soil amendments on the efficiency of arsenic phytoextraction by the fern.
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Edenspace Systems Corporation
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