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Ailanthus Altissima and Phragmites Australis for chromium removal from a contaminated soil

Ranieri, Ezio, Fratino, Umberto, Petrella, Andrea, Torretta, Vincenzo, Rada, Elena Cristina
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.16 pp. 15983-15989
Ailanthus altissima, Phragmites australis, chromium, irrigation water, phytoremediation, plant tissues, planting, polluted soils, roots, stems
The comparative effectiveness for hexavalent chromium removal from irrigation water, using two selected plant species (Phragmites australis and Ailanthus altissima) planted in soil contaminated with hexavalent chromium, has been studied in the present work. Total chromium removal from water was ranging from 55 % (Phragmites) to 61 % (Ailanthus). After 360 days, the contaminated soil dropped from 70 (initial) to 36 and 41 mg Cr/kg (dry soil), for Phragmites and Ailanthus, respectively. Phragmites accumulated the highest amount of chromium in the roots (1910 mg Cr/kg₍dᵣy ₜᵢₛₛᵤₑ₎), compared with 358 mg Cr/kg₍dᵣy ₜᵢₛₛᵤₑ₎ for Ailanthus roots. Most of chromium was found in trivalent form in all plant tissues. Ailanthus had the lowest affinity for Crⱽᴵ reduction in the root tissues. Phragmites indicated the highest chromium translocation potential, from roots to stems. Both plant species showed good potentialities to be used in phytoremediation installations for chromium removal.