Phytoremediation of 1,4-Dioxane by hybrid poplar trees
Water Environment Research
DOI of Published Version
1,4-Dioxane (dioxane), a suspected carcinogen, is a persistent environmental pollutant that is difficult to remove from contaminated sites. This work investigated the feasibility of vegetative uptake as a site remediation alternative. In hydroponic studies, hybrid poplar cuttings (Populus deltoides×nigra, DN 34, Imperial Carolina) removed 23 mg/L dioxane rapidly. Within 9 days, a removal of 54.0±19.0% was achieved. This removal corresponded to a transpiration stream concentration factor of 0.72±0.07. Poplars also effectively remediated a dioxane-spiked soil (10 mg/kg). Only 18.8±7.9% of the initial dioxane spike remained in planted soil after 15 days, compared with 72.0±7.7% remaining in sterilized, unplanted soil. In both hydroponic and soil experiments, 76 to 83% of the dioxane taken up by poplars was transpired from leaf surfaces to the atmosphere, where it can be readily dispersed and photodegraded. These results suggest that phytoremediation is a viable alternative to remove dioxane from contaminated sites and should be considered for other hydrophilic contaminants.
Published Article/Book Citation
Water Environment Research, 72:3 (2000) pp.313-321.