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Bioresour Technol. 2002 Sep;84(3):221-8.

Phytoremediation of subarctic soil contaminated with diesel fuel.

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  • 1Institute of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology, Tampere University of Technology, Finland.


The effects of several plant species, native to northern latitudes, and different soil amendments, on diesel fuel removal from soil were studied. Plant treatments included Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Poplar (Populus deltoides x Wettsteinii), a grass mixture (Red fescue, Fesuca rubra; Smooth meadowgrass, Poa pratensis and Perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne) and a legume mixture (White clover, Trifolium repens and Pea, Pisum sativum). Soil amendments included NPK fertiliser, a compost extract and a microbial enrichment culture. Diesel fuel disappeared more rapidly in the legume treatment than in other plant treatments. The presence of poplar and pine enhanced removal of diesel fuel, but removal under grass was similar to that with no vegetation. Soil amendments did not enhance diesel fuel removal significantly. Grass roots accumulated diesel-range compounds. This study showed that utilisation of selected plants accelerates removal of diesel fuel in soil and may serve as a viable, low-cost remedial technology for diesel-contaminated soils in subarctic regions.

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