Switchgrass removes PCBs in soil

Switchgrass removes PCBs in soil

Environmentally friendly method neutralizes dangerous chemicals.

UNIVERSITY of Iowa researchers have found that a type of grass that was once a staple of the American prairie can remove soil laden with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), toxic chemicals once used for cooling and other industrial purposes.

The researchers reported that switchgrass successfully removed up to 40% of the PCBs from contaminated soils in lab experiments. When boosted by a PCB-oxidizing microorganism, the removal rate reached 47%.

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