Year of selection 2009
Institution Université Bordeaux 1
Thanks to their curative value, plants are celebrated as mighty healers. But did you know about their cleansing power for water? Lilian Marchand’s research is about to add to the great reputation of plants thanks to his investigation of phytoremediation,* i.e. the ability to clean up groundwater using plants and associated microbes. By pumping contaminated water into constructed wetlands with suitable vegetation, Marchand seeks to remove significant traces of soil pollutants with the help of roots and the microorganisms they host. To this end, he is conducting experiments on a large selection of plants to identify the best candidates for decontamination based on their functioning and physiological response. In the light of European legislation on the treatment of wastewater, this cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing method definitely sounds promising.
The main pollutants of waters in contact with contaminated soil are metal(loid)s. Phytoremediation in terrestrial environment can, thanks to suitable plants, intercept surface pollutants by its root system, and its evaporation can reduce percolation. For contaminated waters a solution is to pump waters and to treat it in constructed wetlands (CW). This option based on the phytoremediation, the ability to clean up grounds and waters by plants and associates microbes is a cost efficient respectful solution for the environment and is effective. This PhD aims at identify suitable vegetation for the phytoremediation in constructed wetlands and describe its functioning and its physiological response.
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