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An Evaluation of Edible Plant Extracts for the Phytoremediation of Lead Contaminated Water

Author(s): Lovell Agwaramgbo | Charne Thomas | Chardai GrayS | Jessica Small | Tajeve Young

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 03;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 722;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Heavy Metals | Bioremediation | Lead Remediation | Water Contamination | Phytoremediation

There is a growing global concern for the environmental and health hazards posed by heavy metal contaminants, especially lead in the soil and ground water. The potential for plant and animal uptake, metabolism, and propagation into food-chain poses great health risks. World communities face a common need to a cheap, efficient, and effective technology to mitigate the growing problem of heavy metal contaminations. The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the potential of using aqueous extracts of edible vegetables and fruits for the in-situ remediation of lead contaminated water (1300 PPM). The plants used in this study include Mustard Green (Brassica juncea), Spinach (Spinacea oleracea), Collard Green (Brassica Oleracea), Bitter leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina), Carrot (Daucus Carota Sativus), Red, Green, and Yellow Bell Pepper (Capsicum Annuum ), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), red and white grape (Vitis vinifera), and lime (Citrus aurantifolia). After shaking triplicate reaction mixtures lead contaminated water with each substrate for 22 hours at room temperature, lead removal by the substrates were analyzed by EPA Method 6010, using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES). Results suggest that the order of lead removal is Collard Green (99.8%) >, Spinach (98.7%) > Mustard Green (98.2%) > Green Bell Pepper (97.8%) > Yellow Bell Pepper (97.75%) > White Grape (96.7%)> Carrot (95.5%) > Red Bell Pepper (94.28%) > Red Grape > 93.5% > Tomatoes (84%) > Bitter Leaf (61%). The study concludes that liquid substrates such as the supernatants from pureed edible tuberous, leafy, and fruity vegetables can effectively remove lead from contaminated water.
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