Phytoremediatory efficiency of Chrysopogon zizanioides in the treatment of landfill leachate: a case study
A common approach for waste management is their disposal in landfills, which is usually associated with the production of dangerous gases and of liquid leachate. Due to its toxicity, polluted liquid negatively impacts on the environment with the possible contamination of large volumes of soil, groundwater, and surface water. Leachate remediation is therefore subject of intensive research, and phytoremediation has been achieving increasing interest in recent decades. We describe here the suitability of vetiver grass for the remediation of two leachates collected in urban landfills of northern Italy, characterized by different composition. Our objective was measuring the accumulation/tolerance potential of this species and the evapotranspiration ability in a pot experiment, to evaluate applicability of vetiver plants for the reduction and decontamination of landfill leachate. Plants were grown for 4 months in pots with a zeolite growth bed and watered with either tap water (control) or undiluted landfill leachate. Plant growth and fitness and elemental content in shoots and roots were evaluated at the end of the experiment. In these experimental conditions, the high bioaccumulation of metals highlights the suitability of this species for its employment in phytoremediation; however, vetiver growth under leachate treatment was strongly dependent on leachate composition, making a case-to-case evaluation of plant tolerance necessary before large-scale application.
KeywordsChrysopogon zizanioides Vetiver Landfill leachate Rhizofiltration Nitrogen Metals
Acknowledgment should be provided to the ADEP agency (Ing. Gabriele Rampanelli, Agenzia per la Depurazione – Autonomous Province of Trento – Italy) and to landfill directors, who supplied the leachates analyzed.
The project here presented has been funded by the Joint Project University Enterprise 2015.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Zerminiani A., Ferrarese A., and Campostrini P. are founders and managers of the company Bio Soil Expert srl.
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