Radu_Anaerobic digestion of mercury phytoextraction crops with intermediary stage bio waste polymer treatment.pdf (1.5 MB)

Anaerobic digestion of mercury phytoextraction crops with intermediary stage bio-waste polymer treatment

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journal contribution
posted on 07.08.2020 by Andrew Rollinson, Jayshree Bhuptani, J Beyer, Y Ismawati, Tanja Radu
© 2020, © 2020 Loughborough University. Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. In laboratory experiments, Lepidium sativum L. and Mentha spicata L. were grown in compost spiked with mercury. After cultivation for 20 and 68 days, respectively, translocation factors of 0.05 ≤ TF ≤ 0.2 (Lepidium sativum) and accumulation factors of 2.2 ≤ AF ≤ 12 (Mentha spicata) were recorded. Plants were then harvested and used as feedstock for bench-scale anaerobic digesters. The reactors operated in continuously-stirred batch mode for a period of ten days. Inhibition of anaerobic biogas production was apparent with one sample set evidencing mercury-induced bacteriostatic toxicity. Otherwise, ex-situ characterization of digestate showed that the reactors were within stable operating range. A canola oil-sulphide polymer derived from bio-waste was also used as an intermediary treatment stage to test its capacity for extracting mercury from half the samples prior to anaerobic digestion, and also from the post-experimentation reactor digestate. The polymer removed mercury from digestate with a 40–50% efficacy across all samples, suggesting its potential as a sludge clean-up option. Anaerobic digestion combined with staged polymer extraction offers a potential route for the disposal of phytoremediation crops and ultimately the recovery of mercury, coincident with the production of a bioenergy vector.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Supergen Bioenergy Hub Flexible Funding 2017 scheme



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

International Journal of Phytoremediation




Taylor & Francis


VoR (Version of Record)

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© Loughborough University

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor and Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Dr Tanja Radu Deposit date: 7 August 2020