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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 939161, 31 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/939161
Review Article

A Review on Heavy Metals (As, Pb, and Hg) Uptake by Plants through Phytoremediation

1Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangin, Malaysia
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangin, Malaysia
3Tasik Chini Reasearch Centre, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangin, Malaysia

Received 17 March 2011; Accepted 3 June 2011

Academic Editor: Hans-Jörg Bart

Copyright © 2011 Bieby Voijant Tangahu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Heavy metals are among the most important sorts of contaminant in the environment. Several methods already used to clean up the environment from these kinds of contaminants, but most of them are costly and difficult to get optimum results. Currently, phytoremediation is an effective and affordable technological solution used to extract or remove inactive metals and metal pollutants from contaminated soil and water. This technology is environmental friendly and potentially cost effective. This paper aims to compile some information about heavy metals of arsenic, lead, and mercury (As, Pb, and Hg) sources, effects and their treatment. It also reviews deeply about phytoremediation technology, including the heavy metal uptake mechanisms and several research studies associated about the topics. Additionally, it describes several sources and the effects of As, Pb, and Hg on the environment, the advantages of this kind of technology for reducing them, and also heavy metal uptake mechanisms in phytoremediation technology as well as the factors affecting the uptake mechanisms. Some recommended plants which are commonly used in phytoremediation and their capability to reduce the contaminant are also reported.