|Remedying Contaminated Soil Using Plants|
CHEN Tongbin, director and a research fellow at the Environmental Remediation Center
under Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Geographic Sciences and Resource
Research, told reporters on May 19, 2008 that Chinese scientists have achieved major
progresses in remedying the soil contaminated by heavy metals in a number of areas,
including Huanjiang in Guangxi, Chenzhou in Hunan, Gejiu in Yunnan, Fuyang in Zhejiang,
and Lechang in Guangdong. Scientists have surveyed some 200 mines in more than 20
provinces and municipalities, and discovered an array of plants capable of absorbing 19
heavy metals, including copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, nickel, chromium, and manganese.
They also produced three biological additives from the plants of remediation functions, and
optimized plant based remediation processes.
CHEN said that to perfect remediation processes, the study team has unveiled the
micro-distribution, migration, and transfer of arsenic in the plants, through both indoor and
field modeling, and has created new approaches to position and study the chemicals in the
Started to work on soil remediation in 1997, the Center has been contracted to some ten
remediation projects at the national level. In 1998, the center has found a plant able to
absorb arsenic: Pteris vittata Linn.. Researchers established in 2001 an arsenic
remediation center in Chenzhou, Hunan, the first of its kind in the world. After that, they
established a number of remediation demonstration projects in Guangxi and Yunnan to
remedy the soil contaminated by heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead. They also worked
out a remediation model for inter-cropping of metal absorbing plants and cash crops,
allowing remediation amid farming activities.