Submitted: 02 Sep 2018
Revised: 04 Dec 2018
Accepted: 25 Dec 2018
First published online: 29 Dec 2018
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Avicenna J Environ Health Eng. 2018;5(2):100-105.
doi: 10.15171/ajehe.2018.13
  Abstract View: 183
  PDF Download: 215

Original Article

The Effect of Montmorillonite Nano-Clay on the Changes in Petroleum Hydrocarbon Degradation and Cd Concentration in Plants Grown in Cd-Polluted Soil

Amir Hossein Baghaie 1 * ORCID logo, Mehran Keshavarzi 2

1 Department of Soil Science, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran
2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran


Contamination with heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons is considered as an environmental problem. Thus, this research was done to evaluate the effect of montmorillonite nano-clay on the changes in petroleum hydrocarbon degradation and cadmium (Cd) concentration in plant grown in a Cd-polluted soil. Treatments consisted of two levels of montmorillonite nano-clay (0 and 1% W/W) in a Cd-polluted soil (0, 5, 10 mg Cd/kg soil) and crude oil-polluted soil (0, 1 and 2% W/W). The plant used in this study was Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.). After 20 weeks, the concentration of Cd in plants was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy and the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPHs) in the soil was determined using the GC-mass spectrometry. Soil respiration was determined according to the method used by Qiao et al. ANOVA was used for statistical analysis of data. The least significant difference (LSD) test was used to determine the differences between the means. The application of 1% (w/w) montmorillonite nano-clay in Cd-polluted soil (10 mg Cd) without crude oil decreased Cd concentration in plant and increased microbial respiration by 18% and 34%, respectively. In addition, the application of 1% montmorillonite nano-clay in soil polluted with 1% crude oil and 10 mg Cd enhanced TPHs degradation by 27%. The use of montmorillonite nano-clay increased Cd adsorption in soil which resulted in an increase in microbial respiration and, hence the degradability of petroleum hydrocarbon in the soil.
Keywords: Petroleum, Hydrocarbons, Cadmium, Adsorption,
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