As a result of diverse industrial activities, pollution from numerous contaminant affects both groundwater and soils. Many contaminated sites have been discovered in industrialized countries and their remediation is a priority in environmental legislations. The aim of this paper is to provide the evolution of remediation from consolidated invasive technologies to environmental friendly green strategies. Many clean-up technologies have been used. Nowadays the technologies selection is no longer exclusively based on eliminating the source of pollution, but the aim of remediation includes also the recovery of soil quality. “Green remediation”, a strategy based on “soft technologies”, appears the key to tackle the issue of remediation of contaminated sites with the greatest attention to environmental quality, including the preservation of soil functionality.
Evapotranspiration (ET) covers are an alternative cover system that utilizes water balance approach to maximize the ET process to reduce the contaminants leaching through the soil profile. Microcosm tests allow to identify in a short time the most suitable plant species to be used as alternative covers, their survival capacity, and simultaneously the transpiration and evaporation rate of the cover in a specific contaminated soil. This work shows the soil characterization and ET results of microcosm tests carried out on two contaminated soils by using Triticum durum and Helianthus annuus species. The data indicated that transpiration was higher than evaporation, supporting the use of plants as alternative cover at this contaminated site.
Lead contamination of agricultural land mainly vegetated with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has been investigated. The metal derived from the discharge of sludge from a ceramic industry in the past had used lead paints. The results showed very high values of lead concentration in many soil samples. In order to assess the lead soil contamination, a sequential extraction with H2O, KNO3, EDTA was performed, and the chemical forms of lead in the soil were evaluated. More than 70% of lead was in a potentially bioavailable form. Analysis of Lolium perenne showed elevated lead concentration. A Freundlich-like model was used to describe the transferability of the metal from the soil to the plant.