Bioremoval and resource recovery of nutrients by phytoremediation using aquatic free floating plants Lemna minor


K. Usharani* and V. Arunkumar

The contamination of water resources by phosphate, sulphate, nitrate along with iron from various sources, those wastewater cause a severe environmental problem. The aquatic free floating plants, L. minor has been revealed to be a noble model for eco-toxicological studies and it has the capability to bioaccumulate or biosorption of nutrients and metals. The security of drinking water is a very vital regarding the public health issue. However the iron (Fe) is only toxic at very high concentrations and it acts as a valuable substitute for other heavy metals and its existence in drinking water is an actually unsafe to public health. The work intended to test the potential of the aquatic free floating plant species L. minor to phytoremediate the iron rich wastewater, through bioreduction of Iron under laboratory conditions and to evaluate the time required for the maximum removal of Iron, also biosorption or bioremoval of phosphate, sulphate and nitrate. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficiency of bioremoval of nutrients (phosphate, sulphate and nitrate) and bioreduction of iron (Fe+3 ions) from aqueous solution by Lemnna minor under different conditions of adsorbent dosage, initial concentration, pH and contact time along with the nature of biosorption of iron. The results have shown that Lemnna minor was able to grow and develop in the Fe-rich wastewater and having potential in the bioremoval of the Fe element. Throughout the 21 days of testing it was found that there was a significant increase in the biomass of Lemnna minor both in the contaminated and in the non-contaminated waters. It was furthermore found to be that bioremoval of nutrients (phosphate, nitrate and sulphate) by biosorption or bioaccumulation of Fe occurred mainly during the first 7 days of experimental analysis. It was found that L. minor has potential and bioprospecting for the biotreatment and biorecovery of effluents rich in iron.

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