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Phytoremediation of 1,4-Dioxane by Hybrid Poplar Trees

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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.
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Keywords: 1,4-DIOXANE; HYBRID POPLARS; MINERALIZATION; PHYTOREMEDIATION; RHIZOSPHERE; TRANSPIRATION; TRANSPIRATION STREAM CONCENTRATION FACTOR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-05-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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