Phytoremediation - An overview

Ellen L. Arthur, Pamela J. Rice, Patricia J. Rice, Todd A. Anderson, Sadika M. Baladi, Keri L.D. Henderson, Joel R. Coats

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


The use of plants (directly or indirectly) to remediate contaminated soil or water is known as phytoremediation. This technology has emerged as a more cost effective, noninvasive, and publicly acceptable way to address the removal of environmental contaminants. Plants can be used to accumulate inorganic and organic contaminants, metabolize organic contaminants, and encourage microbial degradation of organic contaminants in the root zone. Widespread utilization of phytoremediation can be limited by the small habitat range or size of plants expressing remediation potential, and insufficient abilities of native plants to tolerate, detoxify, and accumulate contaminants. A better understanding and appreciation of the potential mechanisms for removing contaminants from the root zone and the interaction between plants, microorganisms, and contaminants will be useful in extending the application of phytoremediation to additional contaminated sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • Hyperaccumulation
  • Phytodegradation
  • Phytoextraction
  • Phytofiltration
  • Phytoimmobilization
  • Phytostabilization
  • Rhizodegradation
  • Rhizofiltration


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