Influence of Macrophyte Types towards Agrochemical Phytoremediation in a Tropical Environment
Njau, Karoli N.
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The presence of agrochemicals waste water from agricultural fields poses major environmental and human health problems which may be solved by phytoremediation technologies. Phytoremediation is the use of plants to remediate contaminants in the environment. Batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the influence of four aquatic macrophytes (Cyperus papyrus, Typha latifolia, Cyperus alternifolius and Phragmites mauritianus) towards phytoremediation of agrochemicals from simulated wastewater in Arusha, Tanzania. The selected agrochemicals belonged to different categories namely heavy metal based (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) and pesticides (L-Cyhalothrin, Endosulfan and Permethrin). The change in mean concentration of the agrochemicals was described by first-order reaction kinetics. The results indicated that the removal rate constants were greater for the batch experiments planted with the macrophytes than for the control group. Furthermore, the rate of removal varied between the treatments for the different categories of agrochemicals. As far as heavy metals are concerned, Cyperus papyrus had a greater removal Cu and Fe with the k values of 0.338 d-1 and 0.168 d-1 respectively and Typha latifolia had a greater removal of Mn and Zinc with k values 0.420 d-1 and 0.442 d-1 respectively. On the other hand, the pesticides endosulfan and permethrin were greatly removed by Cyperus papyrus with k values 0.086 d-1 and 0.114 d-1 respectively. Lastly, L-Cyhalothrin was removed greatly by Typha latifolia with k value of 0.116 d-1. Generally, the results demonstrated that aquatic macrophytes can influence the reduction of agrochemicals in wastewater