Research Updates on Heavy Metal Phytoremediation: Enhancements, Efficient Post-harvesting Strategies and Economic Opportunities

  • S. Muthusaravanan
  • N. Sivarajasekar
  • J. S. Vivek
  • S. Vasudha Priyadharshini
  • T. Paramasivan
  • Nirajan Dhakal
  • Mu. Naushad
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 38)


The remediation of heavy metal-contaminated sites must be viewed seriously as they affect the animal and human health. The amount of heavy metal released from the industries into the environment is expected to be more in the future due to rapid urbanization, industrialization, increased population and war spoil. The plant-mediated remediation of heavy metals from the contaminated site known as ‘phytoremediation’ was found to be effective, economically viable and safe. In this review, we elaborate the effect of heavy metal on human health, mechanisms of metal uptake in plants, enhancement techniques and challenges in the implementation of phytoremediation, comparison of existing physiochemical methods available for heavy metal with phytoremediation and disposal of metal-contaminated plant biomass in the economically profitable ways.


Heavy metals Phytoremediation Mechanisms Challenges Disposal Economy 



Cyclohexane-1,2-diamine tetra-acetic acid


Central nervous system


Dimethyl arsenic acid


Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid


Ethylenediamine-N, N′-disuccinic acid


Ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid


Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy


Ethylene glycol-bis-(beta-amino-ethyl ether) N, N, N′, N′-tetra-acetic acid




Heavy metal-contaminated biomass


Monomethyl arsenic acid


Nitrilotriacetic acid


Transmission electron microscopy




X-ray diffraction


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Muthusaravanan
    • 1
  • N. Sivarajasekar
    • 1
  • J. S. Vivek
    • 1
  • S. Vasudha Priyadharshini
    • 1
  • T. Paramasivan
    • 1
  • Nirajan Dhakal
    • 2
  • Mu. Naushad
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory for Bioremediation Research, Unit Operations Laboratory, Department of BiotechnologyKumaraguru College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Environmental Engineering and Water Technology DepartmentIHE Delft Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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