WorldWide Drilling Resource

26 JULY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Booths 609 & 710 Aquatic Plants Could Help Rehabilitate Contaminated Water and Soil Adapted from Information by EurekAlert! Following an analysis of plants in estuaries, Brazilian researchers have recommended a promising technique for rehabilitation of contaminated water and soil. They concluded Typha domingensis, commonly known as the Southern cattail, is effective in mitigating impacts of iron ore tailings on the natural environment. Fieldwork took place at Regência in Espírito Santo state, on the mouth of the Doce River near the border with Minas Gerais. In 2015, the area was contaminated due to the collapse of the nearby Fundão iron mine tailings dam. Scientists examined the T. domingensis (which averages about eight feet in height and has coffee-colored flowers) and Hibiscus tiliaceus (a tree often called beach hibiscus ranging from13-32 feet with yellow flowers). Each plant was analyzed to determine its role in the biochemistry of iron and its potential involvement in phytoremediation, the use of living plants to clean up soil, air, and water. “Our study concluded that T. domingensis was more efficient than H. tiliaceus because its root system had far greater acidification capacity, and also because it accumulated more iron in the aerial portions. This is an important finding for future phytoremediation strategies,” said Tiago Osório Ferreira, an author of the study which was published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. “Iron accumulation by T. domingensis and its remediation potential are good news,” said Professor Armanda Duim Ferreira who lead the research team. “Besides accumulating more iron in the aerial portions and being easier to manage, it’s also preferable to H. tiliaceus because it grows faster.” This group of scientists has been studying the area for over six years. “After all these years of research, we’re able to design phytoremediation strategies with more confidence and consistency,” said Ferreira. Ferreira is currently conducting two field experiments. One of these involves testing ways to increase cattail biomass production and the amount of metal absorbed by the plant. The strategy combines the use of organic acids and ironreducing bacteria with practices such as ideal harvesting, plant density, and fertilization with the aim of reducing the time taken to achieve phytoremediation. Editor’s Note: In between our print issues, the WWDR Team prepares an electronic newsletter called E-News Flash by WorldWide Drilling Resource®. This newsletter is filled with articles not included in our print issue. Based on readership, this was the most popular article of the month. Get in on the action and subscribe today at: ENV Researchers examining Typha Domingensis. Photo by Hermano Melo Queiroz. This is Tomales Bay, a long, narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean in northern California, where oyster farming is a major industry. Subscriber Snapshot © Tom Bates