Heavy Metals Phytoremediation: First Mathematical Modelling Results
This work deals with the numerical modelling of the different processes related to the phytoremediation methods for remedying heavy metal-contaminated environments. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective plant-based approach of remediation that takes advantage of the ability of plants to concentrate elements and compounds from the environment and to metabolize them in their tissues (toxic heavy metals and organic pollutants are the major targets of phytoremediation). Within the framework of water pollution, biosorption has received considerable attention in recent years because of its advantages: biosorption uses cheap but efficient materials as biosorbents, such as naturally abundant algae. In order to analyse this environmental problem, we propose a two-dimensional mathematical model combining shallow water hydrodynamics with the system of coupled equations modelling the concentrations of heavy metals, algae and nutrients in large waterbodies. Within this novel framework, we present a numerical algorithm for solving the system, and several preliminary computational examples for a simple realistic case.
This work was supported by funding from project MTM2015-65570-P of MINECO (Spain) and FEDER. The authors also thank the help and support provided by DHI with the MIKE21 modelling system.
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