Protocols for Applying Phytotechnologies in Metal-Contaminated Soils

  • Meri BarbafieriEmail author
  • Jan Japenga
  • Paul Romkens
  • Gianniantonio Petruzzelli
  • Francesca Pedron
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 35)


Contamination with heavy metals continues to pose a serious challenge for the remediation of polluted soil, as they are not degradable and must be physically removed. At present, most technologies used for removing heavy metals from the soil greatly affect the biogeochemical characteristics of the soil. In many cases, the soil can no longer be considered a useful and productive soil resource, and the treated soil has to be disposed of in landfills. Phytoremediation is the only solution that approaches the problem from an eco-sustainable point of view—it is environmentally friendly and relatively cheap. In this chapter, two phytotechnology approaches for remediating heavy metal-contaminated soil will be discussed, along with protocols for their implementation: phytoextraction and phytostabilization. Phytoremediation as a technique for rehabilitating heavy metal-polluted land therefore requires protocols and decision-support tools to assess the most appropriate approach, based on site-specific characteristics and requirements for soil status during and after remediation. Decisions have to be made on whether to use phytoextraction or phytostabilization, or even reject phytoremediation as a whole. Protocols and decision tools, from modeling and laboratory tests to full-blown feasibility studies, will be discussed.


Heavy Metal Polluted Site Energy Crop Arsenic Removal Critical Success Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meri Barbafieri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Japenga
    • 2
  • Paul Romkens
    • 2
  • Gianniantonio Petruzzelli
    • 1
  • Francesca Pedron
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Section of PisaNational Research CouncilPisaItaly
  2. 2.Alterra-Wageningen UR, Soil Science CentreWageningenThe Netherlands

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