Publication details

Plants radically change the mobility of PCBs in soil: Role of different species and soil conditions


TERZAGHI Elisa VITALE Chiara Maria SALINA Georgia DI GUARDO Antonio

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Hazardous Materials
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Bioavailability; Bioremediation; Contaminated sites; Environmental fate; Groundwater
Description The mobility of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in soil cultivated with different plant species was evaluated by means of a column experiment to investigate the specific plant influence on PCB environmental fate and the potential for leaching. The soil was collected at a National Relevance Site for remediation located in Northern Italy (SIN Brescia-Caffaro) and underwent a rhizoremediation treatment for 18 months with different plant species (Festuca arundinacea, Cucurbita pepo ssp pepo and Medicago sativa). The same but unplanted soil was also considered as control for comparison. The columns were leached with tap water and PCB concentrations were measured in the leachate after 7 days of soil/water contact. Soil previously cultivated with different plant species exhibited statistically different behavior in terms of chemical leaching among the different fractions. Total PCB bulk concentrations ranged from 24 to 219 ng/L. Leachate samples were enriched in tetra- to hepta-PCBs. While PCB concentrations in the dissolved phases varied within a factor of 2 between controls and treatments, PCB associated to particulate organic carbon (POC) differed by more than one order of magnitude. More specifically, Medicago sativa enriched the soil with POC doubling PCB leaching with respect to the other plant species and the unplanted controls.

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