Influences of U Sources and Forms on Its Bioaccumulation in Indian Mustard and Sunflower
Anthropogenic activities, such as ore mining and processing, nuclear power generation, and weapon tests, have generated uranium (U) contamination to soils and waters. The mobility and bioavailability of U are influenced by its sources, speciation, and plant species. Phytoremediation has emerged as an environmentally friendly, cost-effective green technology to remediate radioisotope- and metal-contaminated soils. The main objective of this study was to explore the feasibility using sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) in cleaning up soils with UO2, UO3, and UO2(NO3)2. Uranium was found to be bioaccumulated in plant roots more than plant shoots. Uranium uptake by both plant species was significantly higher from the UO3- and uranyl-contaminated soils than from UO2-contaminated soils. UO3- and UO2(NO3)2-contaminated soils showed higher exchangeable, weak acid extractable, and labile U than the UO2-contaminated soils. After a growing season, three U forms decreased as redistribution/transformation of U resulted in U species with lower extractability. This study indicates the importance of U speciation in soil with regard to the potential use of sunflower and Indian mustard for phytoremediation of U-contaminated soils.
KeywordsDepleted uranium U speciation Redistribution Plant species Phytoremediation
This study was supported by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (W912HZ-16-2-0021), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC-HQ-84-15-G-0042 and NRC–HQ-12-G-38-0038) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (NOAA) (NA11SEC4810001-003499).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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