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Phytoremediation of the Toxic Effluent Generated During Recovery of Precious Metals from Polymetallic Sea Nodules

Vaseem, Huma, Banerjee, T. K.
International journal of phytoremediation 2012 v.14 no.5 pp. 457-466
Azolla pinnata, Lemna minor, cadmium, chlorophyll, chromium, copper, effluents, iron, lead, manganese, phytoremediation, surface water, toxicity, zinc, India
Recovery of metals from the polymetallic sea nodules at the pilot plant at National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, India has generated a highly toxic effluent. This effluent contains several metals like Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, Pb, Cr, and Cd that pollute the neighboring water bodies when discharged. Hence detoxification of this effluent was practiced using two plants: Lemna minor and Azolla pinnata for 7 days. During investigation A. pinnata removed 96% of Mn, 97% of Cu, 98% of Zn, 70% of Fe, 96% of Pb, 93% of Cr, 78% of Cd, and was comparatively more effective than L. minor which removed 94% of Mn, 86% of Cu, 62% of Zn, 74% of Fe, 84% of Pb, 63% of Cr, 78% of Cd. During the 7 days of experiment chlorophyll content decreased by 51% and 59% in A. pinnata and L. minor respectively. Based on our findings we can suggest that these two plants have wide range of metal retention potentialities hence can be of routine use for purification of toxic effluents.