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Plants that work to clean up pollution

Posted by on February 11th 2013

 Last year was a “pretty good” one for Phytorestore, according to CEO Thierry Jacquet. This small company is the French market leader in a promising, but still marginal sector, phytoremediation, or more simply, using plants to mitigate pollution.

“The plants are actually an alibi,” says Jean-Louis Ducreux, who heads the Atelier d’Ecologie Urbaine, a consultancy specialising in these processes. “It’s the bacteria attached to their roots that do the real work.” The contaminants are digested or, in the case of heavy metals that cannot be broken down, trapped by the plant fibres. The type of vegetation – grass, reeds, bamboo, irises, maize, sorghum, willow, poplar – depends on their ability to break down or sequester pollutants.

See Guardian article.