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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2021.308
Fate and toxicity of ferric ferrocyanide with cyanogenic and non-cyanogenic plant species
Dong Hee Kang1, and Xuejun Qian2
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 212151, USA
2Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251, USA
Corresponding Author: Dong Hee Kang ,Tel: +1-443-885-4728, Fax: +1-443-885-8126, Email: donghee.kang@morgan.edu
Received: June 30, 2021;  Accepted: October 3, 2021.
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ABSTRACT
Iron cyanide complexes are common contaminants at former manufactured gas plant sites. Although combined forms of cyanide have low toxicity, iron cyanide complexes can be decomposed to HCN through photolysis. This experiment was designed to evaluate the efficiency of phytoremediation and investigate potential toxic effect for iron cyanide complexes (i.e., ferric ferrocyanide) using the cyanogenic and non-cyanogenic plants in soil. Results showed that Sorghum (a cyanogenic plant) had the highest cyanide degradation in the root zone with the removal of approximately 32% while Switchgrass (a non-cyanogenic plant) and Flax (a cyanogenic plant) had 21% and 17% removal, respectively, with 4% dissipation in unvegetated soil. It was found that roots had higher cyanide concentrations than plant shoots. Water-soluble cyanide and the weak acid dissociable (WAD) fraction in the soil had increased at the end of the experiment, suggesting that plant may enhance the mobility and bioavailability of cyanide by root exudation. The risk associated with the leaching of cyanide compounds was assessed with the toxicity assay (Microtox). However, results indicated that the leachate from the pots was not toxic.
Keywords: Cyanide | Cyanogenic Plant | Ferric Ferrocyanide | PhytoremediationSoil | Toxicity assay (Microtox)
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