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Water Quality Division, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kozhikode 673571, Kerala, India
Publication date: 2017-09-01
Corresponding author
Harikumar Puthenveedu Sadasivan Pillai   

Water Quality Division, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode 673571, Kerala, India
J. Ecol. Eng. 2017; 18(5):18-26
The performance of electrically stimulated phytoremediation in the removal of lead, cadmium and copper was assessed in this study. A combination of phyto and electro remediation was attempted in this study for the remediation of the metals from water. Three tanks were setup with different operating conditions for this experiment: control A (only phytoremediation system), control B (only electro remediation) and treatment (combination of phyto and electro remediation). The electrically enhanced phytoremediation system and electro remediation system were operated 2h/day at voltages of 4V for 25 days continuously. In this experiment, the Eichhornia crassipes, an able phyto-remediator exhibited efficient and fast removal of heavy metals from synthetic solution in electro assisted phytoremediation system. The electrically enhanced phytoremediation using aluminum sheet electrodes showed better and effective removal of Cd, Pb and Cu than aluminum rod electrodes. A more favorable and moderate increase of pH was noticed in electrically stimulated phytoremediation system. Eichhornia crassipes has tremendous potential to reduce maximum amount of cadmium (within 15 days), lead (within 15 days) and copper (within 10 days) under electrically stimulated condition. Under electrified condition, maximum amount of Cd and Cu was accumulated in the aerial parts of Eichhornia crassipes but maximum concentration of Pb was attained by roots. This indicates the high heavy metal accumulation capacity of Eichhornia crassipes under electrified conditions. The results showed that 4V voltage is probably suitable to stimulate the Eichhornia crassipes to synthesize more chlorophyll and voltage can improve growth and ability to resist adverse circumstances by promoting chlorophyll synthesis. Eichhornia crassipes stimulated by an electric field has grown better and assimilated more metal. Bioconcentration factor (BCF) an index of hyperaccumulation, indicates that electrically stimulated Eichhornia crassipes is a good hyper accumulator of Cd (BCF = 1118.18) and Cu (BCF = 1152.47) and a moderate accumulator of Pb (BCF = 932.26). Translocation ability (TA) ratio indicates that Eichhornia crassipes have the ability to translocate more amounts of Pb, Cd and Cu to its upper portion under electrified condition. The results imply that the electro-phytoremediation technique seems to be promising in the treatment of wastewater contaminated with heavy metals.
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