Phytoremediation refers to a group of technologies that exploit the natural absorption and hyperaccumulation capabilities of some plant species to reduce, degrade or immobilize organic or inorganic compounds that are generated by human activities and detrimental to soil, water or ail quality.
Scientific studies have demonstrated the filtering capability of willow root systems and leave open the possibility for applications in the field of wastewater treatment, nutrient recycling of municipal or industrial sludges, and the elimination landfill leachates.
Using SRWC for wastewater phytoremediation
Looking to demonstrate the potential use of willow for phtyoremediation, in 2008 Agro Énergie instigated a project to use SRWC as a natural filtering system for wastewater treatment. Since 2010, more than 10000 m3 of secondary wastewater produced by the municipality of St-Roch-de-l’Achigan has been purified using this system, while creating a new fuel alternative for the heating of the local primary school.
The winter hardiness and growth vigor of willow has other applications in the field of environmental engineering. Being a staple pioneer plant species, willow is often used for land rehabilitation, soil erosion control and riparian buffer strips.