Journal of Environmental Protection

Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2019)

ISSN Print: 2152-2197   ISSN Online: 2152-2219

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Metal Uptake by Plants from Soil Contaminated by Thin-Film Solar Panel Material

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2019.102013    479 Downloads   901 Views  


Various metals, including zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), chromium (Cr), gallium (Ga), lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and indium (In), may be released and cause contamination when scrapped end-of-life (EoL) Cu(InGa)Se2 thin-film solar panel (CIGS TFSP) is buried in the soil. In this study, we grew Brassica parachinensis L. H. Bariley (VegBrassica) in three different types of soils, namely, a commercial soil, a Mollisol, and an Oxisol, which had been contaminated by CIGS TFSP to various extents. The concentrations of contaminants in these soils were positively correlated with both the amount of CIGS TFSP added and the burial period. Plants grew well in commercial soil and Mollisol, but those in Oxisol showed prominent signs of chlorosis and died after 30 days. The bioaccumulation factor (BF) and concentration of Zn in VegBrassica grown in commercial soil with 10% of CIGS TFSP added were 3.61 and 296 mg/kg, respectively, while the BF and concentration of In of VegBrassica grown in Mollisol were 3.80 and 13.72 mg/kg, respectively. The results showed that soils were contaminated by metals released from CIGS TFSP, and different adsorption patterns were observed for VegBrassica depending on which types of metals associated with the soil properties.

Cite this paper

Su, L. , Chen, J. , Ruan, H. , Ballantine, D. and Lee, C. (2019) Metal Uptake by Plants from Soil Contaminated by Thin-Film Solar Panel Material. Journal of Environmental Protection, 10, 221-240. doi: 10.4236/jep.2019.102013.

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