Modeling rhizofiltration: heavy-metal uptake by plant roots
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- Verma, P., George, K.V., Singh, H.V. et al. Environ Model Assess (2006) 11: 387. doi:10.1007/s10666-005-9039-x
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The discovery of phytoaccumulation potential of plant species has led to its application for remediation of heavy-metal-contaminated soil and wastewater, which is termed as phytoextraction/rhizofiltration. For prediction, analysis, planning and cost-effective design of such systems, mathematical models not only are used as a screening tool but also provide optimal parameters like harvesting time, irrigation schedule, etc. Several laboratory and field scale studies have been carried out in the past, and mathematical expressions have been developed by various researchers for different phenomena like metal adsorption in soil, plant root growth with time, moisture and metal uptake by plant root, moisture movement in unsaturated zone, soil moisture relationship, etc. The complete design of any such phytoremediation program would require the knowledge of behavior of heavy-metal movement in soil, water and plant root system. In this paper, a model for simulating heavy-metal dynamics in soil, water and plant root system is developed and discussed. The governing non-linear partial differential equation is solved numerically by implicit finite difference method using Picard's iterative technique, and the formulation has been illustrated using a characteristic example. The source code is written in MATLAB.