Axonopus compressus (Sw.) P. Beauv. A native grass species for phytoremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in Assam, India



BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of Axonopus compressus for the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons from contaminated soil. An experiment was conducted with crude oil contaminated soil to evaluate the degradation of this crude oil in pots in the presence of A. compressus for 360 days. Study of the degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), its accumulation in roots and shoots, plant growth and biomass production and most probable number (MPN) was conducted at 60 day intervals.

RESULT: In the presence of contaminants, plant biomass and height were significantly reduced. TPH was reduced by 70% in TA (fertilized soil) and 40% in TC (unfertilized soil). In the unvegetated pots, the reduction of TPH was 11% in TB (fertilized soil) and 9% in TD (unfertilized soil), which was attributed to microbial action and natural attenuation. Degradation was significantly greater in vegetated pots than in unvegetated pots (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: A. compressus enhanced biodegradation of crude oil in soil under the conditions of this experiment. The addition of fertilizer further enhanced the degradation process. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry