Phytoremediation of perchlorate by tobacco plants
Sundberg, Sarah Elizabeth
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Perchlorate (ClO4 -) is an inorganic contaminant found in soil, groundwater, surface water, and irrigation water used for crop production. Previous field and laboratory studies have shown that perchlorate is taken up by plant roots from perchlorate-contaminated soil and water and is accumulated in plant tissues. This research determined the uptake, translocation, and accumulation of perchlorate in tobacco plants. Four hydroponics growth studies were completed under greenhouse conditions. The depletion of perchlorate in the hydroponics nutrient solution and the accumulation of perchlorate in the plant tissues were determined at two-day intervals using ion chromatography. Results suggest that tobacco plants are potential plants for the phytoremediation of perchlorate. A five-compartment plant kinetic model was developed to describe the distribution of perchlorate in tobacco plants. There was good agreement between model predictions and measured concentrations in the plant. The model, once adequately validated, can be applied to other dicot terrestrial plants and inorganic chemicals currently used for both phytoremediation and ecological risk assessment.