Authors: Degani, E; Warr, B; Tibbett, M

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_23

Cite As:
Degani, E, Warr, B & Tibbett, M 2022, 'Can Pongamia pinnata be an effective phytoremediation tool for tailings in the Copperbelt of Zambia?', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 357-366, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2215_23

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
Mining in Zambia has left a legacy of degraded land that is unsuitable for most forms of agriculture, and contaminated land surrounds numerous mining towns in the Copperbelt. As mining activities decline, communities are left heavily impacted by the negative environmental and social conditions surrounding them. The challenge is to understand and promote an effective revegetation approach that is economically productive, providing environmental benefits, employment, and diversification. Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre, a tree member of the Fabaceae family, has generated interest as a potentially sustainable biofuel feedstock. It produces seeds with high oil content and Pongamia reforestation systems can potentially provide a perennial climate change resilient, drought tolerant, carbon negative alternative to annual oilseed crops for the provision of oil and biomass products capable of providing fuel and food protein products. Additionally, Pongamia can be cultivated in degraded and/or marginal land and, given its phytoremediation potential, it is an ideal candidate for the regeneration of the Copperbelt area. Our study aimed to gain a broader understanding of the potential of P. Pinnata as a phytoremediation tool in the Copperbelt. We have carried out bioassays to assess the toxicity of copper (Cu) in the tailings and measured copper concentrations in both the tailings and the organic amendment around the trees, and in Pongamia roots and leaves growing in a large-scale field trial. Results show high survival rates (98.95%) at relatively high levels of Cu in the tailings (2,997.42 mg.kg-1 on average), with Pongamia trees exhibiting normal development 4 months after being transplanted. Our results suggest that elite Pongamia trees have the potential to be a viable option as a phytoremediation tool in the Copperbelt of Zambia.

Keywords: Pongamia, phytoremediation, copper, soil

References:
Biswas, B, Scott, PT & Gresshoff, PM 2011, ‘Tree legumes as feedstock for sustainable biofuel production: opportunities and challenges’, Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 168, pp. 1877–1884,
De Conti, L, Cesco, S, Mimmo, T, Pii, Y, Valentinuzzi, F, Melo, GW, … & Brunetto, G 2020, ‘Iron fertilization to enhance tolerance mechanisms to copper toxicity of ryegrass plants used as cover crop in vineyards’, Chemosphere, vol. 243, Article no. 125298,
Degani, E, Prasad, MVR, Paradkar, A, Pena, R, Soltangheisi, A, Ullah, I, Warr, B, Tibbett, M 2022, ‘A critical review of Pongamia pinnata multiple applications: from land remediation and carbon sequestration to socioeconomic benefits’, Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 324, 116297,
Geremias, R, Fattorini, D, Fávere, VTD &Pedrosa, RC 2010, ‘Bioaccumulation and toxic effects of copper in common onion Allium cepa L.’, Chemistry and Ecology, vol. 26, pp. 19–26,
Gitari, W, Thobakgale, R & Akinyemi, S 2018, ‘Mobility and attenuation dynamics of potentially toxic chemical species at an abandoned copper mine tailings dump’, Minerals, vol. 8, p. 64,
Gresshoff, PM, Hayashi, S, Biswas, B, Mirzaei, S, Indrasumunar, A, Reid, D, … & Ferguson, BJ 2015, ‘The value of biodiversity in legume symbiotic nitrogen fixation and nodulation for biofuel and food production’, Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 172,
pp. 128–136,
Islam, AKMA, Chakrabarty, S, Yaakob, Z, Ahiduzzaman, M & Kalam Mohammad Mominul Islam, A 2021, ‘Koroch (Pongamia pinnata): a promising unexploited resources for the tropics and subtropics’, in A Cristina Gonçalves, A Sousa & I Malico (eds), Forest Biomass - From Trees to Energy, IntechOpen, London,
Ivanova, EM, Kholodova, VP & Kuznetsov, VV 2010, ‘Biological effects of high copper and zinc concentrations and their interaction in rapeseed plants’, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 57, pp. 806–814,
Kesari, V, Ramesh, AM & Rangan, L 2013, ‘Rhizobium pongamiae sp. nov. from root nodules of Pongamia pinnata’, Biomed Research International, vol. 2013, Article no. 165198,
Kumar, S, Mehta, U & Hazra, S 2009, ‘In vitro studies on chromium and copper accumulation potential of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre seedlings’, Bioremediation, Biodiversity and Bioavailability, vol. 3, pp. 43–48.
Loredo Portales, R, Cruz Jiménez, G, Castillo Michel, H, Rocha Amador, DO, Vogel Mikuš, K, Kump, P & de la Rosa, G 2015, ‘Understanding copper speciation and mobilization in soils and mine tailings from “Mineral La Aurora” in central Mexico: contributions from Synchrotron techniques’, Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana, vol. 67, pp. 447–456,
Murphy, HT, O’Connell, DA, Seaton, G, Raison, RJ, Rodriguez, LC, Braid, AL, … & Gresshoff, PM 2012, ‘A common view of the opportunities, challenges, and research actions for pongamia in Australia’, BioEnergy Research, vol. 5, pp. 778–800,
Mwaanga, P, Silondwa, M, Kasali, G & Banda, PM 2019, ‘Preliminary review of mine air pollution in Zambia’, Heliyon, vol. 5, no. e02485,
Mwitwa, J, German, L, Muimba-Kankolongo, A & Puntodewo, A 2012, ‘Governance and sustainability challenges in landscapes shaped by mining: mining-forestry linkages and impacts in the Copper Belt of Zambia and the DR Congo’, Forest Policy and Economics, vol. 25, pp. 19–30,
Prasad, MVR 2019, ‘Environmental amelioration through Pongamia based phytoremediation’, International Journal of Science and Research (Raipur), vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 93–102.
Prasad, MVR 2021, Pongamia for Bioenergy and Better Environment, New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi.
R Core Team 2020, R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna,
Shirbhate, N & Malode, SN 2004, ‘Heavy metals phytoremediation by Pongamia pinnata (L.) growing in contaminated soil from municipal solid waste landfills and compost Sukali Depot, Amravati (MS)’, International Journal of Advanced Biological Research, vol. 2, pp. 147–152.
The World Bank 2022, Development Projects : Zambia - Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project,
Tulod, AM, Carandang, W & Pampolina, NM 2012, ‘Growth performance and phytoremediation potential of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre, Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr. and Vitex parviflora Juss. in copper-contaminated soil amended with zeolite and VAM’, Asia Life Sciences, vol. 21, pp. 499–522.
Warr, B 2013, Pongamia Pinnata - Environmental Risk & Socio-economic Benefit Assessment, Better World Energy, Lusaka.




© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to repository-acg@uwa.edu.au