A Preliminary Study of Potential Aquatic Macrophytes in Phytoremediation of Lead in The Muar River

  • Nurul’ Ain Jamion Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Faiz Idden Shah Ismail Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Nur Salwani Ab Wahid Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Nur Sofiah Abu Kassim Universiti Teknologi MARA
Keywords: Aquatic macrophytes; phytoremediation; water hyacinth; heavy metals; lead


It has been observed that phytoremediation of wastewater using the aquatic macrophytes system is a predominant method that is economical to construct, requires little maintenance, and can increase water quality. This research aims to quantify the potential of water hyacinth (WH) and water lettuce (WL) as phytoremediation agents to accumulate lead (Pb) and to determine the water quality of Muar River. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) was used to demonstrate Pb absorption from the water sample by plant tissue, which are the roots. WH and WL uptake rates of Pb were measured in a short-term experiment. The initial concentration of Pb in the Muar River was 0.514 mg/L. The maximum absorption efficiency of Pb was observed with WL compared to WH after ten days. Pb concentration in the Muar River remediated with WH and WL decreased to 0.104 mg/L and 0.063 mg/L, respectively. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) of WL and WH was greater than 1, indicating that both plants were good accumulators. The water was characterized by six parameters, which were Ammonia Nitrogen (AN), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), pH, and Total Suspended Solid (TSS). Our study demonstrated that water quality was significantly improved after phytoremediation by both plants. In conclusion, the study shows that water hyacinth and water lettuce can be used effectively as a phytoremediator agent to absorb Pb i.e. as a potential bio-accumulator.