Principles of Phytoremediation

  • Brian R. ShmaefskyEmail author
Part of the Concepts and Strategies in Plant Sciences book series (CSPS)


Phytoremediation, a form of bioremediation, is one viable option for removing pollution from contaminated soil and water. Bioremediation was developed as an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternative to traditional chemical and physical pollution remediation methods. Bioremediation began with the use of bacteria and later other microorganisms, to extract or degrade inorganic and organic contaminants in soil and water in situ. It then evolved to other applications in combination with traditional chemical and physical remediation methods. Phytoremediation was came about from basic research studies on the physiology of halophytic and hyperaccumulating plants. At first, plants provided successful for extracting salts, metals, and radionuclides from soil and water. Further, studies discovered that plant roots and the rhizosphere were capable of extracting or degrading organic pollutants such as pesticides and petrochemicals. The in situ case studies showcased in this book demonstrate how phytoremediation is a sustainable means of pollution remediation in economically emerging countries and is consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Bioremediation Environmental pollution Phytoremediation Phytotechnology Traditional remediation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental SciencesLone Star College—KingwoodKingwoodUSA

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