Plant Physiology and Plant-Microbe Interaction Under Stress Conditions

The application of native and nonnative endophytic bacteria increased air phytoremediation efficiency. The role of plant stress hormone and plant physiology regulation was investigated. In addition, application in suitable concentrations of the exogenous hormones can also increase gaseous formaldehyde phytoremediation. Plant-microbe interaction system was able to rapidly remove benzene-contaminated gas in a pilot scale experiment. Many enzyme, protected plant againt the stress, was up-regulated when microorganism was inoculated. The benefits of microorganism inoculum on phytoremediation and agriculture was interested to study.  

Innovative Biofilters Technology

   Different pollutants have different physical and chemical properties. Benzene, a very low water soluble compound, can be adsorbed by long chain fatty acids (hydrophobic wax) while TMA, high water solubility, can be well adsorbed by short chain fatty acids (hydrophilic wax). So, different biomaterials, containing different structures, will probably have different adsorption capacities in different pollutants. The application of biomaterial for VOC absorption and adsorption was interesting to investigate.

    Modified plant material and agricultural waste with glucose syrup inside the packing bead for VOC biofiltration has been developed and tested in a pilot scale experiment, with the aim of reducing system pressure drop, increasing removal efficiency and supporting bacteria growth without the addition of external nutrient support. The biofilter was applied to remove benzene in a testing chamber.

Wastewater Treatment: Adsorption 

Biomaterials and modified biomaterials can be used to remove dye from contaminated wastewater in textile/printing industriesA previous experiment showed that the application of biomaterials and modified biomaterials showed a high capability in wastewater treatment. From basic research, a wastewater treatment system was developed and commercialized, in which various materials would be specifically applied with different types of wastewater.


Improving of Rice Quality and Productivity

Rice can take up and translocate a high concentration of Cd (toxic compound) resulting in low productivity and quality of rice grain production. In Thailand, this problem has a profound economic effect of around 7,800–14,000 tons per year. In a previous laboratory experiment, the application of biochars and/or microorganisms was able to significantly reduce the Cd concentration in rice roots, shoots and grains (Suksabye et al., 2015; Treesubsuntorn et al., 2017a). Interestingly, all treatments that presented a low Cd concentration showed significantly high other divalent cations, for example Ca, Mg, Mn, etc. in rice roots, shoots and grains. These elements might also play an important role in controlling Cd uptake and translocation of rice resulting in a low Cd concentration in shoots. In addition, soil amendment containing high divalent cation would be developed and applied in a real field in Thailand.


Artificial Wetland

Phytoremediation for wastewater treatment is well-known as an eco-friendly technology with low operation costs. In addition, plants can transform or degrade pollutants from toxic to less toxic forms and accumulate in plant tissue or organelle, for example vacuoles, cell walls, cell membranes, etc. The application of different plant species can remove different types of pollutants, and in some cases, a plant might show itself as a hyperaccumulator, especially in heavy metal-contaminated wastewater. However, phytoremediation for wastewater treatment needed a large area and required a long time for remediation. To overcome these problems, an artificial wetland was developed by focusing on increasing removal efficiency with limited land for operation. Recently, the system was tested in a real site of contamination.

Air Phytoremediation

Using plants to improve indoor air quality has been reported as an effective, eco-friendly and low operation cost method. Many plant species have shown high VOC removal efficiency. In our laboratory, many plant species can effectively remove formaldehyde, benzene, trimethylamine.  The removal efficiency, pollutant uptake and transformation mechanism had been deeply investigated. In addition, the removal efficiency of air phytoremediation was enhanced by using engineering design for botanical biofilter. The system was tested in pilot scale experiment and applied in real contaminated site.