Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 165, Issue 1–4, pp 529–537 | Cite as

Phytoremediation of heavy metals in a tropical impoundment of industrial region



Aquatic pollution pose a serious challenge to the scientific community worldwide, since lakes or reservoirs find multifarious use and most often their water is used for drinking, bathing, irrigation, and aquaculture. Nine metals and several physicochemical parameters, from four sampling sites in a tropical lake receiving the discharges from a thermal power plant, a coal mine, and a chlor-alkali industry, were studied from 2004 to 2005. Pertaining to metal pollution, the site most polluted with heavy metals was Belwadah, i.e., waters and sediments had the highest concentration of all the metals examined. The reference site was characterized by the presence of low concentrations of metals in waters and sediments. Following the water quality monitoring, 2-month field phytoremediation experiments were conducted using large enclosures at the discharge point of different polluted sites of the lake. During field phytoremediation experiments using aquatic macrophytes, marked percentage reduction in metals concentrations were recorded. The percentage decrease for different metals was in the range of 25% to 67.90% at Belwadah (with Eichhornia crassipes and Lemna minor), 25% to 77.14% at Dongia nala (with E. crassipes, L. minor and Azolla pinnata), and 25% to 71.42% at Ash pond site of G.B. Pant Sagar (with L. minor and A. pinnata). Preliminary studies of polluted sites are useful for improved microcosm design and for the systematic extrapolation of information from experimental ecosystems to natural ecosystems.


Heavy metals Water pollution Phytoremediation Eichhornia Coal mines 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ali, M. B., Tripathi, R. D., Rai, U. N., Pal, A., & Singh, S. P. (1999). Physico-chemical characteristics and pollution level of Lake Nainital (U.P., India): Role of macrophytes and phytoplankton in biomonitoring and phytoremediation of toxic metal ions. Chemosphere, 39(12), 2171–2182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. APHA (2000). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (10th ed.). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.Google Scholar
  3. Cardwell, A. J., Hawker, D. W., & Greenway, M. (2002). Metal accumulation in aquatic macrophytes from south east Queensland, Australia. Chemosphere, 48, 653–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cymerman, A. S., & Kempers, A. J. (2001). Concentration of heavy metals and plant nutrients in water, sediments and aquatic macrophytes of anthropogenic lakes (former open cut brown coal mines) differing in stage of acidification. Science of the Total Environment, 281, 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deng, H., Ye, Z. H., & Wong, M. H. (2004). Accumulation of lead, zinc, copper and cadmium by 12 wetland plant species thriving in metal contaminated sites in China. Environmental Pollution, 132, 29–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Linnik, P. M., & Zubenko, I. B. (2000). Role of bottom sediments in the secondary pollution of aquatic environments by heavy-metal compounds. Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management, 5, 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Linnik, P. N., Zhuravleva, L. A., Samoilenko, V. N., & Yu, N. B. (1993). Influence of exploitation regime on quality of water in the Dnieper reservoirs and mouth zone of the Dnieper River. Gidrobiologicheskiy Zhurnal, 29(1), 86–99 (in Russian).Google Scholar
  8. Mireles, A., Solis, C., Andrade, E., Lagunas-Solar, M., Pina, C., & Flocchini, R. G. (2004). Heavy metal accumulation in plants and soil irrigated with wastewater from Mexico City. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 1(219–220), 187–190. doi: 10.1016/j.nimb.2004.01.051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Morillo, J., Usero, J., & Gracia, I. (2002). Partitioning of metals in sediments from the Odiel River (Spain). Environmental Interpretation, 28, 263–271.Google Scholar
  10. Murozono, K., Ishii, K., Yamazaki, H., Matsuyama, S., & Iwasaki, S. (1999). PIXE spectrum analysis taking into account bremsstrahlung spectra. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 150, 76–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Qiu, D., Wu, Z., Liu, B., Deng, J., Fu, G., & He, F. (2001). The restoration of aquatic macrophytes for improving water quality in a hypertrophic shallow lake in Hubei Province, China. Ecological Engineering, 18, 147–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rai, P. K. (2007a). Wastewater management through biomass of Azolla pinnata: An eco-sustainable approach. Ambio, 36(5), 426–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rai, P. K. (2007b). Phytoremediation of Pb and Ni from industrial effluents using Lemna minor: An eco-sustainable approach. Bulletin of Bioscience, 5(1), 67–73.Google Scholar
  14. Rai, P. K. (2008a). Heavy-metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An eco-sustainable approach. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 10(2), 133–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rai, P. K. (2008b). Phytoremediation of Hg and Cd from industrial effluents using an aquatic free floating macrophyte Azolla pinnata. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 10(5), 430–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rai, P. K. (2008c). Heavy metal phytoremediation from aquatic ecosystems with special reference to macrophytes. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (in press).Google Scholar
  17. Rai, P. K. (2008d). Mercury pollution from chlor-alkali industry in a tropical lake and its bio-magnification in aquatic biota: Link between chemical pollution, biomarkers and human health concern. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 14(6), 1318–1329.Google Scholar
  18. Rai, P. K., & Tripathi, B. D. (2006). Impact of thermal power effluent on aquatic environment. National Journal of Radiation Research, 3(4), 190–192.Google Scholar
  19. Rai, P. K., & Tripathi, B. D. (2007a). Microbial contamination in vegetables due to irrigation with partially treated municipal wastewater in a tropical city. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 17(5), 389–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rai, P. K., & Tripathi, B. D. (2007b). Heavy metals removal using nuisance blue green alga Microcystis in continuous culture experiment. Environmental Science, 4(1), 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rai, P. K., & Tripathi, B. D. (2008). Heavy metals in industrial wastewater, soil and vegetables in Lohta village, India. Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry, 90(2), 247–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rai, P. K., & Tripathi, B. D. (2009). Comparative assessment of Azolla pinnata and Vallisneria spiralis in Hg removal from G.B. Pant Sagar of Singrauli Industrial region, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 148, 75–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rai, U. N., Sinha, S., Tripathi, P., & Chandra, P. (1995). Wastewater treatability potential of some aquatic macrophytes: Removal of heavy metals. Ecological Engineering, 5, 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rai, P. K., Sharma, A. P., & Tripathi, B. D. (2007). Urban environment status in Singrauli Industrial region and its eco-sustainable management: A case study on heavy metal pollution. In L. Vyas (Ed.), Urban planing and environment, strategies and challenges (pp. 213–217). London: McMillan.Google Scholar
  25. Sagrario, M. A. G., Jeppesen, E., Goma, J., Sondergaard, M., Jensen, J. P., Lauridsen, T., et al. (2005). Does high nitrogen loading prevent clear-water conditions in shallow lakes at moderately high phosphorus concentrations? Freshwater Biology, 50, 27–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Snow, A. M., & Ghaly, A. E. (2008). Assessment of hydroponically grown macrophytes for their suitability as fish feed. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 4(1), 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Viaroli, P., Bartoli, M., Fumagalli, I., & Giordani, G. (1997). Relationship between benthic fluxes and macrophyte cover in a shallow brackish lagoon. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 99, 533–540.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Sciences (FEBES)Mizoram UniversityMizoramIndia

Personalised recommendations