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Plant & Soil Sciences
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
phytoremediation, arsenic, perennial grasses, soil, chelators, citric acid, EDTA
The effects of varying concentrations of two chelators: EDTA, citric acid (CA), and phosphorus on the accumulation of arsenic in soil by two perennial grasses, Leersia oryzoides and (rice cut-grass) Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue). Each experiment was run for eight weeks, after which plants were harvested, oven-dried, digested in acid and analyzed using an ICP-OES. Phosphorus soil amendments were applied as 0, 15, 30, 60, 120 mg P/kg soil. For the first chelator experiment, CA and EDTA concentrations of 0, 2.5, and 5.0 mmol/kg soil were added in pulse form to the soil. In the second chelator experiment, concentrations of CA were added in 0, 2.0, 4.0 mmol/kg soil and EDTA was added as 0, 0.25, 0.50 mmol/kg soil. Both plant species accumulated enough arsenic in the root and shoot tissues to be considered at hyperaccumulator species. Citric acid produced comparable results with EDTA, and is considerable much safer for the environment than any synthetic chelator. Certain soil amendments (citric acid and phosphorus) and hyperaccumulator species used in this study warrant further research in the field.