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CLU-IN Studio
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Phytoremediation of Organics
Sponsored by: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Superfund Basic Research Program
Original Time/Date of Presentation:

November 12, 2008, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, EST (19:00-21:00 GMT)

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Presentation Overview:

The Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP), in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI) presents "Phytoremediation." This series of online seminars will focus on the science of incorporating phytoremediation into hazardous waste site remediation plans.

This, the second of three sessions, will feature Dr. Ari Ferro, Principal Environmental Scientist, URS Corporation and Dr. Stuart Strand, SBRP-University of Washington.

Dr. Ferro will discuss the principles and application of phytoremediation to remove or stabilize contaminants in soils, groundwater or wastewater. He will discuss phytoremediation processes that enhance the rates of contaminant removal, the role of transpiration and methods for measuring rates of water use for tree stands. The results of modeling studies assessing the formation of groundwater capture zones by stands of deep-rooted trees, and the cultural practices that are used to encourage the development of deep roots, will be discussed. Three common applications of the technology will be discussed and highlighted with specific case studies: 1) Biological "pumping and treating" of groundwater, 2) Irrigation of tree stands with recovered groundwater, and 3) Hydraulic control of groundwater contaminants using deep-rooted trees.

Dr. Strand will present their research with mammalian cytochrome P450 2E1. Mammalian cytochrome P450 2E1 has been expressed in plants, tobacco and poplar, and shown to increase the degradation of its cosubstrates — trichloroethylene, benzene, and carbon tetrachloride — by hundreds of times. The pollutants that their plants can degrade include the most commonly found groundwater pollutants that are probable human carcinogens. Degradation rates by transformed and wild type trees will be presented. The range of substrates degraded by the 2E1 transformed plants and their limitations will be reviewed. Results from ongoing full-scale tests of 2E1 transformed poplar will be reported.

The session will be moderated by Felicia Barnett, Office of Research and Development, Superfund and Technology Liaison, U.S. EPA, Region 4. The final session on "Phytoremediation of Metals" will be broadcast on CLU-IN November 25th from 2-4pm.

Presenters: Instructors: Moderator:
  • Felicia Barnett, Office of Research and Development, Superfund and Technology Liaison, U.S. EPA, Region 4 (
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