Effect of EDTA and citric acid on phytoremediation of Cr- B[a]P-co-contaminated soil

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals in the environment are a concern, and their removal to acceptable level is required. Phytoremediation, the use of plants to treat contaminated soils, could be an interesting alternative to conventional remediation processes. This work evaluates the role of single and combined applications of chelates to single or mixed Cr + benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P)-contaminated soil. Medicago sativa was grown in contaminated soil and was amended with 0.3 g citric acid, 0.146 g ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), or their combination for 60 days. The result shows that in Cr-contaminated soil, the application of EDTA + citric acid significantly (p <0.05) decreased the shoot dry matter of M. sativa by 55 % and, as such, decreased the Cr removal potential from the soil. The soluble Cr concentration in single Cr or Cr + B[a]P-contaminated soil was enhanced with the amendment of all chelates; however, only the application of citric acid in Cr-contaminated soil (44 %) or EDTA and EDTA + citric acid in co-contaminated soil increased the removal of Cr from the soil (34 and 54 %, respectively). The dissipation of B[a]P in single B[a]P-contaminated soil was effective even without planting and amendment with chelates, while in co-contaminated soil, it was related to the application of either EDTA or EDTA + citric acid. This suggests that M. sativa with the help of chelates in single or co-contaminated soil can be effective in phytoextraction of Cr and promoting the biodegradation of B[a]P.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8955-8963
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • B[a]P, Citric acid, Cr, EDTA, M. sativa