By: B.V. Kulkarni, Dr. S. V. Ranade and Dr. A.I. Wasif


In a present investigation phytoremediation of textile process effluent by using water hyacinth has been carried out in the KIT's College of Engineering Campus, for studying reduction of COD and metals from textile process effluent. It has been observed that there is a reduction of 80% in COD and about 25 to 45% reduction in metals after 18 days period.

Key Words Phytoremediation, textile effluent, water hyacinth


Phytoremediation is the use of certain plants to clean up soil, sediment and water contaminated with metals and/or organic contaminants such as crude oil, solvents, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Phytoremediation is the use of plants to remediate contamination by the uptake of contaminated water by plants.

Plants can be used to contain, remove, or degrade contaminants. It is a name for the expansion of an old process that occurs naturally in ecosystems as both inorganic and organic constituents cycle through plants.

Plant physiology, agronomy, microbiology, hydrogeology, and engineering are combined to select the proper plant and conditions for a specific site.

Phytoremediation is an aesthetically pleasing mechanism that can reduce remedial costs, restore habitat and clean up contamination in place rather than entombing it in place or transporting the problem to another site.

Phytoremediation can be used to clean up contamination in several ways:


Plants take up water and organic contaminants through the roots, transport them to the leaves, and release the contaminants as a reduced or detoxified vapor into the atmosphere.

Microorganism stimulation:

Plants excrete and provide enzymes and organic substances from their roots that stimulate growth of microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria.

The microorganisms in the root zone then metabolize the organic contaminants.


Plants prevent contaminants from migrating by reducing runoff, surface erosion, and ground water flow rates. Hydraulic pumping can occur when tree roots reach ground water, take up large amounts of water, control the hydraulic gradient, and prevent lateral migration of contaminants within a ground water zone.


Plant roots can remove metals from contaminated sites and transport them to leaves and stems for harvesting and disposal or metal recovery smelting processes.