Science Inventory



Sundberg, S. E., J J. Ellington, J J. Evans, AND J. W. Fisher. PHYTOREMEDIATION OF PERCHLORATE BY TOBACCO PLANTS. Presented at Annual Meeting Southeastern Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology, Athens, GA, October 31-November 1, 2002.


Elucidate and model the underlying processes (physical, chemical, enzymatic, biological, and geochemical) that describe the species-specific transformation and transport of organic contaminants and nutrients in environmental and biological systems. Develop and integrate chemical behavior parameterization models (e.g., SPARC), chemical-process models, and ecosystem-characterization models into reactive-transport models.


Previous studies have shown that tobacco plants are tolerant of perchlorate and will accumulate perchlorate in the plant tissues. The objective of this research was to determine the effectiveness of tobacco plants in phytoremediation, a technology that employs plants to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil and water. A 13-day hydroponics growth study under typical greenhouse conditions was completed to study the uptake, translocation, and bioaccumulation of perchlorate in tobacco plants. Ion chromatography (IC) was used for the quantitative analysis of perchlorate in the roots, stems, and leaves of the plant, and in the hydroponics growth media. The depletion of perchlorate in the hydroponics nutrient solution and the accumulation of perchlorate in the plant parts were determined at two-day intervals. Mass balance results show that perchlorate was not appreciably degraded by tobacco plants. Perchlorate primarily accumulated in the leaves of tobacco plants grown in a hydroponics solution fortified with known amounts of perchlorate. Results show that tobacco plants are effective in the phytoremediation of perchlorate.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 10/31/2002
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 62653