A meso-scale pilot plant was set up to test the efficiency of a phytoremediation technique applied to slightly contaminated marine sediments dredged from the port of Livorno (central Italy). The technique applied involved the use of plants (a grass species, Paspalum vaginatum and a shrub species, Tamarix gallica) and earthworms (Eisenia foetida sp.) in order to recreate an active ecosystem in which plants, micro- and macroorganisms could interact with each other through the rhizosphere, for the adsorption, extraction and/or degradation of pollutants. This system enables plants to grow in a fine textured and salt medium highly unsuitable for plant species, and a physical, chemical and biological amelioration of the matrix was observed at the end of the experimentation (after 9 months). The sediment was bio-physically pre-conditioned by mixing it with calcareous material from excavating activities (5:1 v/v) and applying green compost. The presence of microorganisms in the rhizosphere and the earthworms produced a reduction by about 50% of the initial total petroleum hydrocarbon content. The use of a natural chelator with phyto-hormonal properties (humic substances) showed their capability of forming stable complexes, especially with Pb, and their contribution as an agronomic fertiliser. The combined effect of the P. vaginatum and T. gallica in the extraction of heavy metals from the sediment showed promisingly high percentages of metal effectively extracted in comparison with its available fraction (e.g. available Ni = 6.2%; Ni extracted = 15.7%). The technique proposed could be promising for an operational re-use of dredged marine sediments for agricultural purposes, a suitable final destination for the great majority of these contaminated materials from rivers and harbour docks.
|Autori:||Bianchi, V; Masciandaro, Grazia; Ceccanti, B; Doni, S; Iannelli, Renato|
|Titolo:||Phytoremediation and Bio-physical Conditioning of Dredged Marine Sediments for Their Re-use in the Environment|
|Anno del prodotto:||2010|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s11270-009-0240-4|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|