Phytoremediation of Soil Contaminated by Organochlorine Pesticides and Toxic Trace Elements: Prospects and Limitations of Paulownia tomentosa

Toxics. 2022 Aug 11;10(8):465. doi: 10.3390/toxics10080465.


Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Steud is a drought-resistant, low-maintenance and fast-growing energy crop that can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions, provides a high biomass yield (approximately 50 t DM ha-1 yr-1), and develops successfully in contaminated sites. In Kazakhstan, there are many historically contaminated sites polluted by a mixture of xenobiotics of organic and inorganic origin that need to be revitalised. Pilot-scale research evaluated the potential of P. tomentosa for the phytoremediation of soils historically contaminated with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and toxic trace elements (TTEs) to minimise their impact on the environment. Targeted soils from the obsolete pesticide stockpiles located in three villages of Talgar district, Almaty region, Kazakhstan, i.e., Amangeldy (soil A), Beskainar (soil B), and Kyzylkairat (soil K), were subjected to research. Twenty OCPs and eight TTEs (As, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) were detected in the soils. The phytoremediation potential of P. tomentosa was investigated for OCPs whose concentrations in the soils were significantly different (aldrin, endosulfans, endrin aldehyde, HCB, heptachlor, hexabromobenzene, keltan, methoxychlor, and γ-HCH) and for TTEs (Cu, Zn, and Cd) whose concentrations exceeded maximum permissible concentrations. Bioconcentration (BCF) and translocation (TLF) factors were used as indicators of the phytoremediation process. It was ensured that the uptake and translocation of contaminants by P. tomentosa was highly variable and depended on their properties and concentrations in soil. Besides the ability to bioconcentrate Cr, Ni, and Cu, P. tomentosa demonstrated very encouraging results in the accumulation of endosulfans, keltan, and methoxychlor and the phytoextraction of γ-HCH (TLFs of 1.9-9.9) and HCB (BCFs of 197-571). The results of the pilot trials support the need to further investigate the potential of P. tomentosa for phytoremediation on a field scale.

PMID:36006144 | PMC:PMC9415570 | DOI:10.3390/toxics10080465


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