Phytoremediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Soil

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2002-33610-11791
Agency Tracking Number: 2002-00195
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
15100 Enterprise Ct., Ste 100, Chantilly, VA, 20151
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Elless
 (703) 961-8700
Business Contact
 Bruce Ferguson
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (703) 961-8700
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government