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Phytoremediation of trichloroethene (TCE) using cottonwood trees

By:
, , and
Edited by:
Andrea Leeson and Bruce C. Alleman

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Abstract

Phytoremediation uses the natural ability of plants to degrade contaminants in ground water. A field demonstration designed to remediate aerobic shallow ground water that contains trichloroethene began in April 1996 with the planting of cottonwood trees over an approximately 0.2-hectare area at the Naval Air Station, Fort Worth, Tx. Ground water was sampled in July 1997, November 1997, February 1998, and June 1998. Analyses from samples indicate that tree roots have the potential to create anaerobic conditions in the ground water that will facilitate degradation of trichloroethene by microbially mediated reductive dichlorination. Dissolved oxygen concentrations, which varied across the site, were smallest near a mature cottonwood tree (about-20 years old) 60 meters southwest of the cottonwood plantings. Reduction of dissolved oxygen is the primary microbially mediated reaction occurring in the ground water beneath the planted trees, whereas near the mature cottonwood tree, data indicate that methanogenesis is the most probable reaction occurring. Reductive dichlorination either is not occurring or is not a primary process away from the mature tree. On the basis of isotopic analyses of carbon-13 at locations away from the mature tree, trichloroethene concentration is controlled by volatilization.

Phytoremediation uses the natural ability of plants to degrade contaminants in ground water. A field demonstration designed to remediate aerobic shallow ground water that contains trichloroethene began in April 1996 with the planting of cottonwood trees over an approximately 0.2-hectare area at the Naval Air Station, Fort Worth, Tx. Ground water was sampled in July 1997, November 1997, February 1998, and June 1998. Analyses from samples indicate that tree roots have the potential to create anaerobic conditions in the ground water that will facilitate degradation of trichloroethene by microbially mediated reductive dichlorination. Dissolved oxygen concentrations, which varied across the site, were smallest near a mature cottonwood tree (about-20 years old) 60 meters southwest of the cottonwood plantings. Reduction of dissolved oxygen is the primary microbially mediated reaction occurring in the ground water beneath the planted trees, whereas near the mature cottonwood tree, data indicate that methanogenesis is the most probable reaction occurring. Reductive dichlorination either is not occurring or is not a primary process away from the mature tree. On the basis of isotopic analyses of carbon-13 at locations away from the mature tree, trichloroethene concentration is controlled by volatilization.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Phytoremediation of trichloroethene (TCE) using cottonwood trees
ISBN:
1-57477-079-9
Volume:
5(6)
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Battelle Press
Publisher location:
Colombus, OH
Description:
8 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Conference publication
Larger Work Title:
Phytoremediation and innovative strategies for specialized remedial applications: Volume 5(6) of Proceedings from the Battelle Memorial Institute international in situ and on-site bioreclamation symposium
First page:
101
Last page:
108
Conference Title:
5th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium
Conference Location:
San Diego, CA
Conference Date:
April 19-22, 1999