ISSN (0970-2083)

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Research Article Open Access



Metalliferous mine wastes including tailings and mill wastes are the major sources of pollution from mining activity. Mine tailing are composed of mostly fine grained material, lack nutrients and contains no organic matter to promote growth of vegetation canopy. Biotoxicity in mine tailings is primarily due to low pH and toxic metal concentrations. There is also chance of release of these metals during rain, resulting in metal leaching and acid mine drainage which impacts local streams and water ways. Most of the conventional remediation methods of mine tailings are expensive and environmental destructive. In recent years, scientists and engineers are working on use of microorganisms/biomass or live plants which can be implemented in situ to remediate tailings and mill wastes. Phytostabilization is one such emerging eco-friendly alternative phytotechnology, uses plants to immobilize environmental toxins, with aim of restoring the environmental status of a polluted soil useable for private or public applications. Phytostabilization focuses on establishing a vegetative canopy of metallophytes to immobilize metals within the mine tailings itself into a less soluble form thus making soil productive. This study includes characteristics and environmental impacts of mine tailings, basic concept of phytostabilization along with case studies and recent research.


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