Fate of Volatile Compounds in Phytoremediation Applications


Use of unique sampling techniques has lead to a new understanding regarding the fate of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in phytoremediation systems. Tissue sampling and diffusion traps were used to determine how VOCs are transported in and diffuse from vegetation, particularly woody species. These techniques were then utilized to observe how plants interact with different contaminated media, showing different transport if the contamination is primarily in the vadose zone (vapor phase) or in the saturated zone (aqueous phase). Data was gathered in laboratory studies, in native vegetation, and in engineered phytoremediation systems. Findings reveal that diffusion from the xylem tissues to the atmosphere is a major fate for VOCs in phytoremediation applications. These techniques were also utilized to observe the impact of engineered plant/microbe systems, which utilize recombinant, root-colonizing organisms to selectively degrade compounds and subsequently alter the fate of VOCs and other organic compounds.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Allelochemicals; Organic Compounds; Phytroemediation; Sediments; Vadose Zone; Vapors; Vegetation; Volatile Organic Compounds; Xylem

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2004 University of Massachusetts Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004

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