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PERCHLORATE PHYTOREMEDIATION USING HARDWOOD TREES AND VASCULAR PLANTS
Lewis Hutchinson, S, S. Susarla, N L. Wolfe, AND S C. McCutcheon. PERCHLORATE PHYTOREMEDIATION USING HARDWOOD TREES AND VASCULAR PLANTS. Presented at Second International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Monterey, CA, May 22-25, 2000.
Perchlorate has contaminated water and soils at several locations in the United States. Perchlorate is
water soluble, exceedingly mobile in aqueous systems, and can persist for many decades under typical ground and surface water conditions. Perchlorate is of concern because of uncertainties about toxicity and health effects from low levels in drinking water, the impact on ecosystems, and possible indirect exposure pathways for humans from agricultural and other activities. Currently, ion exchange is the most conunon perchlorate remediation technology. However, this technology is very expensive and results in a concentrated waste product. Initial studies at the US EPA Ecosystems Research Division show that several vascular plant species are capable of transforming perchlorate to nontoxic compounds. Studies
are currently underway to assess the phytoremediation potential of several fast growing hardwood trees. Plants are grown hydroponically in 1-2 L reactors containing varying concentrations of perchlorate contaminated water. The reactor weight is monitored to assess plant transpiration and water samples are analyzed daily for perchlorate. After 2 weeks, plants tissues are separated into roots, stems, and leaves, and analyzed for perchlorate and its transformation products.