Scientists have planned to use hyperaccumulator plants to remove toxic metals from soil using the phytoremediation process.
- Phytoremediation is a bioremediation process that uses living organisms like plants, microalgae and seaweeds to remove toxic heavy metals from the soil.
- Hyperaccumulator plants are those that have an unusual ability to absorb hundreds or thousands of times greater amounts of toxic substances from the soil compared to other plants.
- They can remove metals like silver, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, lead and zinc; metalloids such as arsenic and selenium; some radionuclides; and non-metallic components such as boron.
It is cost-effective compared with other remediation methods.
The method is simple and doesn’t require any new kinds of specialised technology.
No external energy source is required.
It enriches the soil with organic substances and microorganisms.
Protect the soil from erosion due to wind and water.
It is a very slow and time-consuming process.
Large economic cost due to the inability to grow crops on the remediation land.
Hyperaccumulator plants chosen to conduct the rehabilitation could act as invasive species, growing out of control and disturbing the fragile ecological balance.
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