Removal of Prussian blue from contaminated soil in the rhizosphere of cyanogenic plants

Dong Hee Kang, Lee Yen Hong, A. Paul Schwab, M. Katherine Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The fate of radiolabeled cyanide in soil was investigated during exposure to cyanogenic plant species, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor var. P721) and flax (Linum usitassimum var. Omega-Gold), in fully-contained growth chambers. Labeled cyanide was subject to microbial transformation, assimilation by plant roots, incorporation and biodegradation in plant tissue. For this study, 14C-labeled cyanide was added to soil, and distribution of 14C activity was assessed before plant establishment and after harvest. After 3 months of plant growth, 7% of the 14C-labeled cyanide was converted to 14CO2 with sorghum and 6% with flax, compared with only 2% conversion in unplanted soil. A small amount of unaltered cyanide was shown to be accumulated by the plants (≈140 mg cyanide/kg plant or <0.1% of the total). Results from this experiment demonstrate the potential of cyanogenic plants for use in phytoremediation of cyanide-contaminated soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1492-1498
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Contamination
  • Cyanide
  • Groundwater
  • Phytoremediation
  • Prussian blue
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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