Phytoremediation of Metals in Industrial Sludge by Cyperus Kyllingia-Rasiga, Asystassia Intrusa and Scindapsus Pictus Var Argyaeus Plant Species

Ab. Aziz Abdul Latiff, Ahmad Tarmizi Abd. Karim, Ahmad Shukri Ahmad, Mohd Baharudin Ridzuan, Hung Yung-Tse


Laboratory studies have shown phytoremediation is a feasible method for remediating sludge
contaminated with heavy metals. This research focused on the ability of plants to hydroponically treat digested
industrial sludge contaminated with aluminium (Al), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead
(Pb), nickel (Ni), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn). The sludge used in the study was obtained from the wastewater
treatment lagoon of a textile factory. Three species were used in the phytoremediation process. They were Cyperus
Kyllingia-Rasiga, Asystassia Intrusa and Scindapsus Pictus Var Argyaeus. These species were planted in
hydroponic pots placed under a transparent roof to allow natural light. In the first batch, pots containing 2 seedlings
of each plant were applied with 9.81 mg, 12.83 mg, 15.85 mg, 18.87 mg and 21.9 mg digested dried industrial
sludge. In the second batch, the pots planted with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 seedlings and were applied with the same amount
of 21.9 mg of digested industrial sludge each. The pH and electrical conductance (EC) of hydroponic solution were
monitored in this phytoremediation processes. The results showed that the absorption of heavy metals by
Asystassia Intrusa was in the order of Mn > Al > Cu > Fe > Ni > Zn > Cd > Pb > Cr, with medium pH and EC of
6.90 ± 0.73 and 2.47 ± 1.96 μS/cm respectively . The absorption of heavy metals by Cyperus Kyllingia-Rasiga
was in the order of Mn > Cu > Ni > Cr > Pb > Zn > Fe > Al > Cd at medium pH 6.87 ± 0.71 and EC 2.72 ± 1.85
μS/cm and the absorption by Scindapsus Pictus Var Argyaeus was in the order of Cu > Ni > Mn > Pb > Zn > Cr >
Cd > Al > Fe at neutral pH and the EC 2.72 ± 1.71 μS/cm. From the study it was concluded that the plant species
used were able to significantly absorb the metals present in industrial sludge.


heavy metal, hydroponics, industrial sludge, phytoremediation, rhizosphere

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Copyright International Journal of Integrated Engineering (IJIE) 2013.