2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference


Use of Soybeans in the Phytoremediation of Lead-contaminated Soils
Sabrina M. Wells*, Joshua J. Hirner, Sarah E. Bloch, and Laura A. Kopff
Dr. Barbara K. Kramer, Faculty Mentor

Current methods of cleaning polluted soil are both expensive and environmentally detrimental. An alternative method is phytoremediation, the use of plants to remove contaminants. Soybeans’ fast growing cycle and their ability to grow in a wide variety of soils suggest that they could be a practical alternative to slower-growing, less versatile plants. To determine their usefulness for phytoremediation, soybeans were planted in lead contaminated soil collected from an abandoned gas station. Plants were harvested at various intervals after sprouting and were sectioned into different parts to determine where lead localized over time. Soybeans were also grown in highly contaminated soil collected at an abandoned shooting range. Samples for both trials were digested in a microwave and analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results show soybeans to be viable phytoremediators and suggest a potential method for improving the effectiveness of phytoremediation operations by spreading a layer of topsoil over a contaminated site.

Keywords: phytoremediation, soy beans, lead, pollution, soil, contamination, remediation


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-3
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

Add to Custom Schedule

* Indicates the Student Presenter
   SRC Privacy Policy