International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2569

Full Length Research Paper

Metallic phytoremediation and extraction of nanoparticles

Tariq Mahmood1*, Salman Akbar Malik2, Syed Tajammul Hussain1 and Shazia Aamir3
1Nano Sciences and Catalysis Division, National Centre for Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan. 2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan. 3Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 09 November 2012


The use of phytoremediation is a non-destructive method of heavy metal’s removal from soils. Water hyacinth plant (Eichhronia crassipes), normally found in habitats around the world, and has the ability to extract heavy metals through its roots, stem, and leaves. The main aims of this study were two folds; the use of water hyacinth plant to remove metals (Lead, Pb; Copper, Cu; Zinc, Zn; Chromium, Cr; and Cadmium, Cd) from contaminated soil, and second was to use metal contaminated water hyacinth to extract metals as nanoparticles. The laboratory trials were carried out with different concentrations of heavy metals in soils. Plants were grown in metal contaminated soils ranging from 5 to 500 µg/g of soil concentrations. The heavy metals absorbed by the plants were measured with parameters like soil pH and plant fresh weight. The heavy metals were first extracted and the resultant biomass was utilized for preparation of metallic nanoparticles by a green technology route. The subsequent recovery of the heavy metal, followed by metallic nanoparticles production utilizing the contaminated biomass will add value to the use of this plant.


Key words: Water hyacinth, nanoparticles, soil, Cobalt, Nickel, Lead, Copper, Zinc, Chromium, Cadmium.


TEM, Transmission electron microscopy; SEM, scanning electron microscopy; AFM, atomic force microscopy; DLS, dynamic light scattering; XPS, X-ray photoelectron microscopy; XRD, X-ray diffraction; FTIR, Fourier transformed infra red spectroscopy; AAS, atomic absorption spectroscopy; ICP-ES, Inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry; DMRT, Duncan’s multiple range test; ICP-AES, Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging.