2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Phytoremediation of Lead Contaminated Soils Assisted by EDDS and Octanoic Acid
Caitlyn M. McGuire*, Carolyn E. Lee, Kendra W. Moore, and Elizabeth A. Janke
Dr. Barbara K. Kramer, Faculty Mentor

Phytoremediation is the use of plants to remove heavy metals from contaminated soil. Plants naturally concentrate some heavy metals, but through the use of surfactants and chelating agents, this process can be greatly improved. This process has been proven and presented as a cost effective and non-invasive alternative to conventional soil remediation techniques. Our experiment involves growing the soybean plant, Glycine max, under controlled conditions in lead contaminated soil. As the plants mature, we amend the watering procedure with the surfactant, octanoic acid, and the chelating agent ethylenediamine-N,N'-disuccinic acid (EDDS). Plant material is then digested, and concentrations of lead collected in the plant roots, stems, and leaves are measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy. We will present our process of optimizing the use of octanoic acid, and our ongoing optimization of the use of EDDS. We also will discuss future directions of the project.

Keywords: remediation, spectroscopy, analytical chemistry, heavy metals, environment, soybean, soil

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 104-1
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:00

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