Plant-accelerated dissipation of phenanthrene and pyrene from water in the presence of a nonionic-surfactant

Yanzheng Gao, Wanting Ling, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Plant-accelerated dissipation of phenanthrene and pyrene in water in the presence of a nonionic-surfactant (Brij35) was studied. The mechanisms involved were evaluated, based on the investigation of plant uptake of these compounds from water with Brij35. The presence of ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam) clearly enhanced the dissipation of tested PAHs in water with 0-296 mg l-1 Brij35. The first-order rate constants (K), calculated from the first-order kinetic models for these PAH degradation (all significant at P < 0.05, n = 8), of phenanthrene and pyrene in the presence of ryegrass were 16.7-50% and 47.1-108% larger than those of plant-free treatments, whereas half-lives (T1/2) of the former were 14.3-33.4% and 32.0-52.0% smaller than the latter, respectively. However, the promotion of PAH dissipation by ryegrass was found to significantly decrease with increasing Brij35 concentrations. In the range of 0-296 mg l-1, low concentrations ({less-than or slanted equal to}74.0 mg l-1) of Brij35 generally enhanced plant uptake and accumulation of phenanthrene and pyrene, based on the observed plant concentrations and accumulated amounts of these chemicals from water. In contrast, Brij35 at relatively high concentrations ({greater than or slanted equal to}148 mg l-1) markedly restricted plant uptake of these PAHs. Plant accumulation of phenanthrene and pyrene accounted for 6.21-35.0% and 7.66-24.3% of the dissipation enhancement of these compounds from planted versus unplanted water bodies. In addition, plant metabolism was speculated to be another major mechanism of plant-accelerated dissipation of these PAHs in water systems. Results obtained from this study provided some insight with regard to the feasibility of phytoremediation for PAH contaminated water bodies with coexisted contaminants of surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1567
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Phytoremediation
  • Plant
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Surfactant
  • Water


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