Application of Certain Plants to Phytoremediation of Waste Oil
Wei Xie
Eric Hamber Secondary
Floor Location : J 227 V

Phytoremediation is a technology that uses the ability of plants to concentrate and metabolize certain compounds in their environments for cleaning contaminated environments of hazardous waste products. Ranunculus, or the Buttercup, has been reported to grow in waste environments including municipal waste disposals and has been subsequently investigated for several phytoremediative applications. The inflorescence of Typha Latifolia, commonly known as the Common Cattail, was found to be highly oil absorbent. Furthermore, the inflorescence of Typha Latifolia was found to only absorb oils, but not water. This material could be placed in the soil of the oil spill or pipeline leak environment, where Ranunculus would be planted. This material would serve as a temporary oil absorbent for Ranunculus, decreasing the oil concentration of the soil, significantly reducing the harm of the spilled oil to plants in the environment and allowing Ranunculus to prepare for phytoremediation. Combined, the inflorescence of Typha Latifolia and Ranunculus are an effective and natural method of cleaning polluted environment.

The inflorescence of Typha Latifolia was investigated for its absorption of different oils. An experiment to compare the absorbent capabilities of various sorbents, including the inflorescence of Typha Latifolia, cotton, sawdust and polymer, in a contained representation of a real pipeline leak or oil spill environment, where the various oils represent the oil leaked or spilled and tap water represents the groundwater, was set up. The results suggest that the inflorescence of Typha Latifolia is a suitable oil absorbent to accompany Ranunculus.

The application of Ranunculus to the phytoremediation of waste oils was investigated. An experiment to compare the biological characteristics of a contained soil environment contaminated with oil in the presence and control absence of Ranunculus was set up. The results suggest that Ranunculus exhibits phytoremediative properties towards waste oils.