In our experiment, we decided to see which water solution would help speed up the process of phytoremediation in duckweeds. We hypothesized that the solution with the highest concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus would take longer to finish the process of phytoremediation than the pond water and the solution with a lower concentration.
Phytoremediation is a process of cleaning up environmental pollution done by plants, and in this case, we decided to use duckweeds. Duckweeds use the nutrients found in the pond water and convert them to proteins to help with growth, as well as remove ammonia from animal and humanmade wastewater. Duckweeds can also “…provide a valuable source of starch and protein.
” (Zhao 2017).Duan Peigao and his team did a similar research project, but instead of subjecting the duckweeds to different concentrations of water, they did multiple variables. Some of these variables included “…temperature (270–380 °C), time (10–120 min), reactor loading (0.5–5.
5 g), and K2CO3 loading (0–50 wt.%) on the product (e.g. crude bio-oil, water soluble, gas and solid residue) distribution from the hydrothermal processing of duckweed…” (Peigao 2013). Their main goal was to track how much of the duckweeds products were produced once the experiment concluded. Instead of finding the products, our experiment will focus on how much of the nitrogen and phosphorus concentration was removed from the water.
Another point we may be observing is whether the different water solutions caused a growth or reduction in duckweeds. A study was already conducted by S. Radi? and his team and found that chlorophyll, carotenoid contents, and peroxidase activity all contributed to the reduction of duckweeds (Radi? 2011). However, they also found that wastewater and pondwater contributed to the damage of the duckweeds. Since one of our samples happens to be pondwater, we can watch to see if any of the fronds are broken down.