Screening and Identification of Plants at a Petroleum Contaminated Site in Malaysia For Phytoremediation

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Mushrifah Idris
  • Siti Rozaimah Sheikh Abdullah
  • Harmin Sulistiyaning Titah
  • Abdul Rahman Abasa
  • Ahmad Khairi Husin
  • Raja Farzarul Hanima
  • Rozita Ayub
Keywords: selected plants, phytoremediation, contaminated site, TPH, heavy metals


There is lack of sufficient data that describe which plants can be used in phytoremediation for petroleum and heavy metal contaminated sites, especially in the tropical climate region. The aim of the study was to identify native plants growing on a petroleum contaminated site in Malacca, Malaysia, which have a phytoremediation potential on petroleum. The second aim was to identify native plants at the same contaminated site for phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminants or hyper accumulation plants. In the initial screening of contaminated sites, some of the native plants were found to have the capability to grow in very high concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). This indicates that some of these plants have high potential to act as a phytoremediator. Paspalum vaginatum Sw, Paspalum scrobiculatum L. varbispicatum Hack, Eragrostis atrovirens (Desf.) Trin. exSteud, Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin, Chloris barbata (L.) Sw, Pycreus polystachyos (Rottb.) Beauv and Ischaemum timorense Kunth were found to be potential phytoremediatory of TPH in contaminated soil. These plants were chosen based on thier high rate of survival in contaminated sites and in terms of uptake or in degrading contaminants. The Biological Accumulation Coefficient (BAC) has been used as a guideline to choose potential plants for heavy metal phytoremediation. In the study, the plants were screened based on BAC values for arsenic (As) and lead (Pb). The selected plants, Melochia corchorifolia L., Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P. H. Raven, P. vaginatum, Cyperus sphacelatus Rottb., are potential as phytoremediators while L. octovalvis and Melastoma malabathricum L. are potential Pb phytoremediators.