Simultaneous uptake of arsenic and lead using Chinese brake ferns (Pteris vittata) with EDTA and electrodics

Butcher, David J.;Lim, Jae-Min

  • Received : 2018.11.18
  • Accepted : 2019.01.28
  • Published : 2019.02.25


Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata) has potential for application in the phytoremediation of arsenic introduced by lead arsenate-based pesticides. In this study, Chinese brake ferns were used to extract arsenic, mainly in field and greenhouse experiments, and to assess the performance of simultaneous phytoaccumulation of arsenic and lead from homogenized soil in the greenhouse, with the application of EDTA and electric potential. The ferns have been shown to be effective in accumulating high concentrations of arsenic, and extracting both arsenic and lead from the contaminated soil, with the addition of a chelating agent, EDTA. The maximum increase in lead accumulation in the ferns was 9.2 fold, with a 10 mmol/kg addition of EDTA. In addition, the application of EDTA in combination with electric potential increased the lead accumulation in ferns by 10.6 fold at 5 mmol/kg of EDTA and 40 V (dc), compared to controls. Therefore, under application of EDTA and electric potential, Chinese brake fern is able to extract arsenic and lead simultaneously from soil contaminated by lead arsenate.


Phytoremediation;Arsenic;Lead;Lead arsenate;Chinese brake fern;EDTA;Electrodics;ICP-OES


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Supported by : Changwon National University