Remediation of Endosulfan by Biotic and Abiotic Methods


Endosulfan is a persistent, toxic broad-spectrum organochlorine insecticide and acaricide used on food and non-food crops. To overcome the problem of hydrophobicity of endosulfan, surfactants play a major role in soil remediation. A concentration of 1 g/L tween 80 released 83.89% ± 1.22% of endosulfan from the soil in 24 hours and a total of only 13.96% ± 0.14% was found remaining in the soil. Phytoremediation is an emerging technology that promises effective and inexpensive cleanup of contaminated hazardous waste sites. The potential of aquatic plant species Salvinia molesta and the terrestrial plant species, Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), to remove persistent organochlorine pesticide endosulfan from contaminated water and soil respectively were investigated. Remediation of endosulfan in water using different aquatic plants showed that Salvinia molesta is more efficient in endosulfan removal as the percentage removal of endosulfan obtained was 97.94% ± 0.33% in 21 days (with an initial concentration of 123 μg/L endosulfan). Among the selected terrestrial plant species, Spinach and Tomato, percentage removal of endosulfan was found to be higher with tomato. On Day 21, complete removal of pesticide (with an initial concentration of 140 μg/Kg endosulfan) occurred in the soil in which phytoremediation was done with tomato while spinach took about 28 days for complete removal of endosulfan. Microbial degradation offers an effective approach to remove toxicants from the environment. Microbial degradation of endosulfan was studied and Pseudomonas species was able to completely degrade endosulfan in 16 days. The technologies developed can be utilized for the complete removal of endosulfan from a contaminated area. The surfactant enhanced recovery and phytoremediation will help to decontaminate the polluted water and soil. The recovered endosulfan in the surfactants and plants can be subjected to biodegradation by bacterial species using a bio reactor.

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P. Harikumar, K. Jesitha and M. Sreechithra, "Remediation of Endosulfan by Biotic and Abiotic Methods," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 418-425. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.45050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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