Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Timothy Kelly


The use of natural remediation methods to remove contaminants from waste water is becoming more popular. Plants have been used for several decades, yet their use for municipal waste water contaminated by heavy metals is limited to a few studies which focus on the Mercury and Chromium (Bennicelli,, 2004). This study specifically attempted to determine the viability for using Lemna minor to remediate municipally generated wastewater contaminated with copper. The study used 100 ml samples of wastewater, artificially spiked with 8 mg/L of copper sulfate and seeded with approximately 100 Lemna minor fronds. Each treatment was repeated 15 times and distilled water was added daily to maintain 100 ml samples. The addition of Lemna minor statistically lowered the copper concentration of the treatment groups (55% reduction in total Cu concentration). No significant decrease was seen in the control groups. While Lemna minor has metals accumulation potential, its wide spread use is limited by the toxic effect of copper on Lemna minor at relatively low levels.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010