Plant and Soil

, Volume 249, Issue 1, pp 167–175 | Cite as

Trends in phytoremediation of radionuclides

  • Slavik Dushenkov


Phytoremediation, a novel plant-based remediation technology, is applied to a variety of radionuclide-contaminated sites all over the world. Phytoremediation is defined as the use of green plants to remove pollutants from the environment or to render them harmless. Current status of several subsets of phytoremediation of radionuclides is discussed: (a) phytoextraction, in which high biomass radionuclide-accumulating plants and appropriate soil amendments are used to transport and concentrate radionuclides from the soil into the above-ground shoots, which are harvested with conventional agricultural methods, (b) rhizofiltration, in which plant roots are used to precipitate and concentrate radionuclides from polluted effluents, (c) phytovolatilization, in which plants extract volatile radionuclides from soil and volatilize them from the foliage and (d) phytostabilization, in which plants stabilize radionuclides in soils, thus rendering them harmless. It is shown that phytoremediation is a fast developing field and the phytoremediation of radionuclides might soon become an integral part of the environment management and risk reduction process.

phytoremediation radiocesium radionuclides radiostrontium rhizofiltration uranium 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickU.S.A.

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