Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



Arsenic has been used throughout recorded history but during the industrial revolution widespread use led to global environmental impact. The two forms that should be considered in environment management are arsenate and arsenite. The calculations of environmental risk for arsenic exposure relies the toxicity of arsenite however, in well aeriated surface soils arsenate may be the predominate form. Ecological risk assessments based on arsenite studies will lead to restrictive remediation requirements that do not adequately reflect the level of risk. Arsenate resembles phosphate and as such has a greater affinity for phytoremediation. Phytoremediation is one of the most viable and cost effective cleanup techniques developed. Different mathematical approaches have been implemented to characterize phytoremediation systems to address concerns with performance. A system dynamic model is presented to describe solute transport in groundwater coupled to sorption by plant roots, translocation into plant stems, and evapotranspiration. The model was tested and assessed using published and peer-reviewed experimental data, to assess its capability to mimic phytoremediation processes. The model is consistent with previous research establishing the extraction process as a constringent factor for this cleanup technique. The model included modules that can estimate rainfall, seasonal temperature and growth. The modules allow for the independent verification of data before input into the model. The implementation of phytoremediation model can provide information about: pollutant-media-plant interaction, pollutant concentration and flow rate through the plant.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Wilson, Vince