Phytoremediation Strategies In Cleaning Up Contaminated Soil
As human beings soils are very vital for our survival. We use soil to carry various functions and processes that are important for our survival. Our houses are seated on soils, we grow crops on soils, we lay important infrastructure on soils and we do all sorts of things on soils.
This means that this is a very important natural resource that must be jealously guarded not only for our own use but even for the future generations as well. Soil can be damaged and take years to revive. We pollute soil when we use chemicals that interfere with its alkalinity. There are various methods of remediating soil that has been contaminated. The well known method is isolation of the contaminated soil. This method however, is not sustainable because it leaves patches of contaminate soil.
There are various processes that are involved in soil cleaning. The processes are supposed to remove soil pollutants like heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and pesticides. We carry soil cleaning because we want the area to be suitable for growing plants or suitable for living. There are various methods that can be used for soil cleaning. One of them is called phytoremediation which entails the application of plants in cleaning the soil. Though the results of this method are not realized immediately, yet it is very effective in terms of being eco-friendly. The other methods are not the best because they entail scooping of contaminated soil and chemically washing it before get it back.
There are various methods that can be used in phytoremediation as follows:
- Phyto-stabilization– this entails using certain plants that immobilize contaminants. These plants produce certain compounds that prevent the contaminants from moving all over.
- Phyto-accretion/phyto-mining– this is normally used in soils that have been contaminated by metals. The plants are able to soak the heavy metal that is in the soil and keep it in their stems and leaves. After elapse of a number of years, these plants are harvested and disposed appropriately as they are considered as being contaminated.
- Root zone biodegradation– in this method, plants release certain chemical substances from their roots. These chemicals are used by organisms that help to restore soil alkalinity.
- Phyto-degradation– in this method, certain plants are used to destroy the contaminants through their digestion.
The use of plants in cleaning the soil is the most eco-friendly method of soil restoration. Plants are important because they can attract rain and filter air This shows that future soil cleaning campaigns should have plants as the best option that people should use. Plants are also important because they restore the fertility of the soil and its texture.