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Evaluation of the potential of plant species for phytoremediation of soil contaminated with mining tailings

Grant number: 17/14837-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Evaldo Luiz Gaeta Espindola
Grantee:Ana Beatriz dos Santos
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In modern society, the use and manipulation of metals has become indispensable for their survival and advancement. Every day we make the use of technological and non-technological materials and appliances that have in their composition different types of metals. The process of extraction of these metals is mainly done by mining, activity of great economic importance in Brazil and responsible for part of national GDP. Despite its importance, mining is an activity that can cause several negative impacts, such as the recently occurring in the city of Mariana, in Minas Gerais, where the Fundão dam, that contained tailings of iron mining, was ruptured, causing the spilling of enormous amounts of metal-rich materials in the environment, affecting rivers, towns and villages. The spill has caused very serious social, environmental and economic consequences. In view of the problems brought by the mineral tailings, the recovery of soil and water is indispensable in a rapid, economic and ecological manner. Phytoremediation is a technique that has been gaining space in Brazil for its easy application, low cost and good results, however, in view of its recent popularization, studies pointing appropriate species for such application are scarce. Aiming to collaborate with this demand, the present study aims to assess the potential of five vegetable species for the phytoremediation of soils contaminated by mining tailings, focusing on the case of Mariana/MG, through ecotoxicological tests with Enchytraeus crypticus and acute and chronic tests, using Ceriodaphnia silvestrii, of the elutriate of its soil. (AU)

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