Potential of Lemna minor in Ni and Cr removal from aqueous solution

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Construction Engineering Department, Jadavpur University, Saltlake, Kolkata-700098, W.B. India.

2 School of Water Resources Engineering, Jadavpur University, Saltlake, Kolkata-700032, India.



Duckweeds are of special interest, as they are naturally growing weeds that have the capacity to tolerate and remove toxic pollutants, including heavy metals from the environment. Studies have revealed that duckweed (Lemna minor) can tolerate and remove heavy metals from aqueous solutions. In the present study, the efficiency of L. minor in the removal of Ni and Cr individually from aqueous solutions was investigated at concentrations of 3.05, 3.98 and 4.9 mg/L for Ni and 1.91, 2.98, and 4.2 mg/L for Cr. Experiments were run for 22 days, after which the metal content in the plant was estimated by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The duckweed showed higher percentage of Ni removal than Cr. Specific Growth Rate (SGR) was found to be reduced at high concentrations of both Ni and Cr. Statistical analysis suggested that the growth of the plant was affected by the toxic effect of both Ni and Cr. Bioaccumulation of Ni was higher than Cr in L. minor. The mechanism of removal of both Ni and Cr followed second order kinetics. It is suggested that these duckweeds can remove Ni and Cr from aqueous solution and can also accumulate the same in considerable concentrations, at low initial metal concentrations.


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