Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 35928–35935 | Cite as

Remediation potential of caffeine, oxybenzone, and triclosan by the salt marsh plants Spartina maritima and Halimione portulacoides

  • Nazaré CoutoEmail author
  • Ana Rita Ferreira
  • Paula Guedes
  • Eduardo Mateus
  • Alexandra B. Ribeiro
Sustainable Waste Management


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have attracted increasing concern during the last decade because of their widespread uses and continuous release to the aquatic environment. This work aimed to study the distribution of caffeine (CAF), oxybenzone (MBPh), and triclosan (TCS) when they arrive in salt marsh areas and to assess their remediation potential by two different species of salt marsh plants: Spartina maritima and Halimione portulacoides. Experiments were carried out in the laboratory either in hydroponics (sediment elutriate) or in sediment soaked in elutriate, for 10 days. Controls without plants were also carried out. CAF, MBPh, and TCS were added to the media. In unvegetated sediment soaked in elutriate, CAF was mainly in the liquid phase (83%), whereas MBPh and TCS were in the solid phase (90% and 56%, respectively); the highest remediation was achieved for TCS (40%) and mainly attributed to bioremediation. The presence of plants in sediment soaked in elutriate-enhanced PPCPs remediation, decreasing CAF and TCS levels between approximately 20-30% and MBPh by 40%.. Plant uptake, adsorption to plant roots/sediments, and bio/rhizoremediation are strong hypothesis to explain the decrease of contaminants either in water or sediment fractions, according to PPCPs characteristics.


Pharmaceutical and personal care compounds Phytoremediation Sediment Water Salt marsh area 



N. Couto and P. Guedes acknowledge Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia for their Post-Doc fellowships, SFRH/BPD/81122/2011 and SFRH/BPD/114660/2016, respectively.

Funding information

This study received financial support provided by 4KET4Reuse (SOE1/P1/E0253) and CEMOWAS (SOE2/P5/F0505), co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) and by FCT/MEC through grants UID/AMB/04085/2013, Research unit CENSE “Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3042_MOESM1_ESM.docx (257 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 257 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CENSE, Departamento de Ciências e Engenharia do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal

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