Studying the enhanced phytoremediation of lead contaminated soils via laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

M. Hassan, M. Sighicelli, A. Lai, F. Colao, A.H. Hanafy Ahmed, R. Fantoni, M.A. Harith

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Phytoremediation popularly known as 'green clean technology' is a new promising technology used for toxic contaminants removal from the environment such as heavy metals (HMs), adopting suitable plants. This concept is increasingly being adopted as it is a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods of treatment. This study was focused on using scented geranium, Pelargonium zonale, as accumulator or hyperaccumulator plant for natural lead extraction from artificially contaminated soil with different Pb concentrations (0, 2000, 5000, 7000 ppm). Utilization of EDTA as a chelator, that would permit higher metal availability and uptake by the tested plants roots, was also tested. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) was used to follow up Pb concentrations in both soil and plant green harvestable parts known as shoots, before, during and after lead addition in soil. LIBS measurements were conducted in a microdestructive way by focusing a high energy Nd:YAG laser, emitting at 1064 nm, on plant and soil samples previously dried, homogenized and pressed in pellets. The emitted LIBS spectra were acquired by a gated CCD after dispersion on a monochromator and analyzed to retrieve relative concentrations of the selected HM both in the soil and on plants as a function of the time after doping and eventual chelator addition. EDTA was found to enhance Pb uptake from the soil which increased with time, good correlation was found between LIBS and ICP-OES results of plant tissues spectrochemical analysis. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225 - 1229
Number of pages5
JournalSpectrochimica Acta, Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy

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