In-situ phytoremediation of PAHs contaminated soils following a bioremediation treatment

Abstract : Phytoremediation of pollutants in soils is an emerging technology, using different soil-plant interaction properties. For organic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phytodegradation seems to be the most promising approach. It occurs mostly through an increase of the microbial activity in the plant rhizosphere, allowing the degradation of organic substances, a source of carbon for soil microbes. Despite a large amount of available data in the literature concerning laboratory and short term PAH phytodegradation experiments, no actual field application of such technique was previously carried out. In the present study, a soil from a former coking plant was used to evaluate the feasibility and the efficiency of PAH phytodegradation in the field during a three years trial and following a bioremediation treatment. Before the phytoremediation treatment, the soil was homogenized and split into six independent plots with no hydrological connections. On four of these plots, different types of common plant species were sowed: mixture of herbaceous species, short cut (P1), long cut (P2), ornamental plants (P3) and trees (P4). Natural vegetation was allowed to grow on the fifth plot (P5), and the last plot was weeded (P6). Each year, representative sampling of two soil horizons (0-50 and 50-100 cm) was carried out in each plot to characterize the evolution of PAHs concentration in soils and in soils solution obtained by lixiviation. Possible impact of the phytoremediation technique on ecosystems was evaluated using different eco- and genotoxicity tests both on the soil solid matrix and on the soil solution. For each soil horizon, comparable decrease of soil total PAHs concentrations were obtained for three plots, reaching a maximum value of 26% of the initial PAHs concentration. The decrease mostly concerned the 3 rings PAHs. The overall low decrease in PAHs content was linked to a drastic decrease in PAHs availability likely due to the bioremediation treatment. However, soil solutions concentration showed low values and no significant toxicity was characterized. The mixture of the herbaceous species seemed to be the most promising plants to be used in such procedure.
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Sébastien Denys, Claire Rollin, Francis Guillot, Hafid Baroudi. In-situ phytoremediation of PAHs contaminated soils following a bioremediation treatment. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Springer Verlag, 2006, 6 (3-4), pp.299-315. ⟨10.1007/s11267-005-9024-z⟩. ⟨ineris-00963036⟩

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