Sustainable Soil Remediation. Phytoremediation Amended with Electric Current

  • Claudio CameselleEmail author
  • Susana Gouveia
  • Santiago Urréjola
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 31)


Phytoremediation amended with electric fields has been proposed as a coupled technology to enhance the remedial capacity of green plants. The application of an electric field may enhance the bioavailability of contaminants as well as favor the biomass production. This study deals with the effect of the electric field in the electrochemical properties of the soil in terms of pH and electric conductivity. The objective is to determine the response of the soil to the application of a DC electric field in order to determine the appropriate voltage gradient that does not provoke dramatic changes in the pH and electric conductivity, avoiding serious damage to the plants. The selected voltage gradient can be used in the design of an electro phytotechnology that does not compromise the survival of plants. Three different soils were tested in this study: clayey soil, agricultural soil with organic matter, and topsoil. The clayey soil showed the highest resistance to pH changes. This soil was selected to grow plant species with remedial capacity: Phalaris Canariensis, Brassica Rapa, Zea Mays and Lolium perenne L. B. rapa showed the fastest growing in the presence of a constant electric potential gradient of 0.67 DCV/cm. B. rapa and L. perenne were tested in the electro-phytoremediation of soil 3 contaminated with 400 mg/kg of Cr, 200 mg/kg of Pb and 200 mg/kg. Plant cultures with electricity showed better removal of heavy metals than the tests with no electricity. The mixed culture of B. rapa and L. perenne was able to remove significant amounts of the three heavy metals, suggesting that intercropping may generate a synergic effect on phytoremediation.


Sustainability Soil remediation Phytoremediation Coupled technology Green plants 



The authors would like to thank the EU for the financial support through the project 768905 – PORTABLECRAC (Program H2020-SPIRE-2017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Cameselle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susana Gouveia
    • 1
  • Santiago Urréjola
    • 2
  1. 1.Chemical EngineeringUniversity of VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.University Center of Defense at the Naval Military SchoolMarinSpain

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