The process of detoxifying soil by plants, the technical term is “phytoremediation”, will filter and remove harmful substances from contaminated soil. The ability to detoxify depends on the plant, and the ability to remove metals or non-metals from the soil varies by plant species.
New research by a team of scientists in Singapore has found that some popular tropical plants may play an important role in soil detoxification. Many of the plants involved in the study are native to the tropics, making it somewhat easier to introduce these plants to countries with similar climates.
The President of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor Lam Yeng Ming commented: “For a small country like Singapore, land can be reused to support new planning projects, so one way to heal contaminated soil can be both environmentally friendly and long-lasting. very important“.
According to him, the research team will make use of tropical plants to detoxify the soil, when this method is both simple, effective, and green and beautiful. The planting strategy both prevents erosion and prevents the metal from spreading to other lands, thereby slowing the rate of soil contamination.
In the scientific report, the team pointed out 46 species of plants that have the ability to detoxify the soil. Among them are popular plants such as ginger leaf grass (Axonopus compressus), fern (Pteris vittata) or pennywort (Centella asiatica) which are very effective in removing heavy metals and non-metals from the soil.
Herbs can eliminate metals and non-metals that are toxic to humans and animals, such as cadmium, lead, arsenic or chromium. These substances themselves are not highly toxic, but when accumulated in the soil for a long time, the consequences on living organisms will be very unpredictable. They accumulate in the topsoil due to electronic waste and pesticide spraying.
Currently, local government agencies have located the areas of heavy metal poisoning, and hope to apply the new method of detoxification soon. The project of planting trees that remove toxins from the soil is consistent with strategies that improve people’s quality of life.
Phytoremediation methods can synergize, even replacing other industrial methods of soil decontamination, such as soil washing or acid filtration. Green, clean and beautiful treatment will always be preferred, over the application of harmful chemicals.
However, phytoremediation will need community determination, when the method is sure but slow. Not to mention the treatment of plants that suck toxins out of the soil.
Scientists are now looking for ways to integrate inorganic particles into plants to both speed up plant growth and improve their ability to absorb pollutants. If successful, large lawns and vegetable granaries will quickly spread green energy in the inner city, purifying the soil from by-products arising from the process of labor and human activities.
According to ntu.edu.sg