Phytoremediation as a green biotechnology tool for emerging environmental pollution: A step forward towards sustainable rehabilitation of the environment

Mayur B. Kurade, Yoon Hee Ha, Jiu Qiang Xiong, Sanjay P. Govindwar, Min Jang, Byong Hun Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The industrial revolution in the production of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) has significantly improved public health in recent years. However, this development has also led to water pollution because of the unintentional disposal of these synthetic chemicals, creating unacceptable sanitary conditions. Conventional wastewater treatment systems can eliminate most of the contaminants, however these are not efficient in removing PPCPs. Plant-based remediation is a simple, yet very effective and eco-friendly approach that can complement existing wastewater treatment. Phytoremediation of emerging contaminants is relatively new, and various key concepts including the uptake and detoxification mechanisms remain relatively unexplored compared with microbial processes. This review comprehensively discusses the latest studies on the biochemistry and application of phytoremediation for the removal of PPCPs from wastewater, focusing on the mechanisms of uptake and detoxification through the enzymatic biotransformation of PPCPs and the latest field applications using innovative engineered systems. Future research recommendations are addressed, including the need of topics warranting investigation in PPCPs interactions with plant tissues, their metabolic transformation in plants, development of new predictive uptake models and futuristic advancements involving the cutting-edge methodologies in genetic engineering for the realization of advanced phytoremediation technologies. This review is an effort to gather the scattered information on research updates of phytoremediation in recent decade to present an outlook of the emerging, green biotechnology for the rehabilitation of the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129040
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 2021 Jul 1


  • Biotransformation
  • Constructed Wetland
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Pharmaceutical contaminants
  • Phytoremediation
  • Plant enzymes
  • Plant uptake


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