Phytoscreening: A comparison of in planta portable gc-ms and in vitro analyses

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Journal Article
Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation, 2014, 34 (1), pp. 49 - 56
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Phytoscreening has been proven to rapidly delineate subsurface contaminant plumes for semiquantitative site assessment, with minimal impact to property or ecology through the collection and analysis of tree cores. Here, three phytoscreening methods were applied concurrently to identify multiple chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs) in a phytoremediation treatment system at a contaminated industrial facility. Tree coring, in planta gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and in planta passive sampling showed general agreement, with the in planta GC-MS providing the quickest but least quantitative results. The portable GC-MS sampling and analysis method identified six cVOCs in the xylem of hybrid poplars (Populus sp.) in the phytoremediation plot. These real-time data can permit onsite identification and delineation of the contaminants, allowing for adaptive sampling during a single mobilization to a site. The in vitro methods provided quantitative data across two sampling campaigns, as relative cVOC concentrations remained similar between the two trips, despite a decrease in absolute cVOC concentrations from August to October. Overall, this research demonstrates the advantages and limitations of three phytoscreening techniques. © 2014, National Ground Water Association.
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