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Title: Empirical investigation of water pollution control through use of Phragmites australis
Authors: Al Akeel, Khaled
Advisors: Reynolds, A
Chaudhari, AJ
Keywords: Nanoparticles;Phytoremediation;Phragmites australis (plants);Heavy metals;Phytoextraction
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Engineering and Design PhD Theses
Abstract: This research study addresses a problem of water pollution caused by heavy and toxic metals Cd, Cr, Cu and Pb. The thesis proposes the use of the technique of phytoremediation using Phragmites australis (PA) plants that have the capacity to absorb and to accumulate such metals in their roots and leaves. The metal uptake and their location of accumulation in the PA plants were determined using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) respectively. Leachates from contaminated plant biomass were mixed with silver nitrate to assess the manufacture of metal nanoparticles as an added value step in the process from remediation to biomass disposal. Silver nanoparticles were readily manufactured by the leachates without, with the exception of copper, any incorporation of the pollutant metal. The presence of copper in the manufactured silver nanoparticles may be of some commercial use. The results obtained show that PA plants will accumulate toxic metals when in hydroponic culture and that the majority of the accumulated metals are sequestered in the roots and do not enter the aerial parts of the plants in significant amounts. Silver nanoparticles were manufactured from the biomass using a low energy route with no additional chemicals, apart from silver nitrate thus reducing the environmental load that would otherwise be present if a chemical means of nanoparticle production was used.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Brunel University Theses
The Experimental Techniques Centre

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