Cyanide and cyanide-containing compounds from anthropogenic sources can be an environmental threat because of their potential toxicity. A remediation option for cyanide-contaminated soil may be through the use of plants and associated rhizosphere microorganimsms that have the ability to degrade cyanide compounds. Cyanogenic plant species are known to produce cyanide, but they also have the ability to degrade these compounds. In addition, the presence of these plants in soil may result in an increase in cyanide degrading microorganisms in the rhizosphere. Two cyanogenic species (Sorghum bicolor and Linum usitassium) and a noncyanogenic species (Panicum virgatum) were selected for a 200-day phytoremediation study to assess their potential use for removal of cyanide from soil. For both cyanogenic species, approximately 85% of the iron cyanide in soil was removed, whereas very little iron cyanide was removed in the unvegetated control or in the presence of Panicum virgatum. In addition, the activity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of cyanogenic plants was higher than in cyanide-contaminated soil from unvegetated soil.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)