Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 188, Issue 1–4, pp 335–343 | Cite as

Humic Acid Addition Enhances B and Pb Phytoextraction by Vetiver Grass (Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash)

  • Ilker Angin
  • Metin Turan
  • Quirine M. Ketterings
  • Avni Cakici


Phytoremediation is an attractive, economic alternative to soil removal and burial methods to remediate contaminated soil. However, it is also a slow process. The effect of humic acid in enhancing B and Pb phytoextraction from contaminated soils was studied (pot experiment) using transplanted vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash). Boron was applied at 0, 45, 90 and 180 kg B ha−1 soil (as H3BO3) in 16 replicates. Of the 64 pots, four pots each were treated with 0, 100, 200 and 400 kg ha−1 humic acid (HA) solution. In a separate experiment, Pb was applied (as Pb(NO3)2) at 0, 45, 90 and 180 kg Pb ha−1 prior to addition of HA solutions at levels identical to the B experiment. Experiments were conducted using a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Vetiver grass was harvested 90 days after planting. Lead addition beyond 45 kg Pb ha−1 decreased Pb uptake mostly due to a yield decline. Humic acid application increased Pb availability in soil and enhanced Pb uptake while maintaining or enhancing yield. An application of 200 kg HA ha−1 was optimal for maintaining yield at elevated Pb levels. Boron application did not impact yield but greatly increased B content of roots and shoot. Boron uptake was greatest upon addition of 400 kg HA ha−1. We conclude that HA addition to vetiver grass can be an effective way to enhance phytoremediation of B and Pb but optimum rates differ depending on soil B and Pb contamination levels.


Boron Humic acid Lead Phytoremediation Vetiver grass 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilker Angin
    • 1
  • Metin Turan
    • 2
  • Quirine M. Ketterings
    • 3
  • Avni Cakici
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Structures and IrrigationAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil ScienceAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  3. 3.College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Crop and Soil SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental EngineeringAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey

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