Electrokinetic – Enhanced ryegrass cultures in soils polluted with organic and inorganic compounds

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The effect of electric fields on seed germination and development of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was studied in clean and contaminated soil with heavy metals and/or PAHs. The application of 0.2 DCV/cm in clean soil near ryegrass seeds enhanced the germination by 75%. The presence of contaminants in soil hindered the germination and growing of ryegrass. However, the application of DC electric field favored the germination and growing of plants compensating the negative effects of the contaminants. The electrode material in anodes has a decisive influence in the germination and growing of ryegrass. Stable anode materials have to be used to avoid the release of toxic ions in the soil that affect the development of the plant. Graphite anodes are very appropriate because they are inexpensive and does not generate toxic effects on plants. The electro-phytoremediation of mixed contaminated soil with ryegrass showed very promising results, especially AC electric fields. The tests with AC current showed the highest biomass production in a treatment of 1 month. The more biomass production the more removal of heavy metals and PAHs from soil.

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