Treatment of Phyto-desalination by salt-resistant plants
Phyto-desalination treatment (PHYTODESAL) involves the extraction of salt and NaCl from water and soils by using their plants of saline media, which can extract salt and keep it in the leaves. This treatment is applied to remove salt in saline soils and thus improve its quality for possible agricultural use, as well as for the removal of salt in saline water for potential use as irrigation water.
This treatment takes advantage of the solubility of NaCl for absorption by certain plants that need salt for optimal development. These plants take the water with nutrients and salt and the latter is accumulated by cellular organelles or secreted to the outside, keeping it on the surface.
The management of these perennial crops reduces the conductivity and salt of certain saline soils, especially in arid areas of the Mediterranean basin. It is also possible to remove salt from these plants in salt wastewater if they have been biologically treated before for waste disposal. To do this, the treatment consists of the use of aeroponic or hydroponic cultures in closed circuits in which water is circulated for several days.
In both cases, biomass production is important and its harvesting and subsequent drying allow the plants used to feed ruminants, for their nutritious properties and salt intake.
Innovative aspects and main advantages
The use of biological techniques for the extraction of salt in soils and saltwater is the main innovative aspect of this treatment, thus being an environmentally friendly treatment. The main advantage of its use is that it prevents soil degradation and therefore achieves agronomic use of saline soils that are not put into cultivation because of their characteristics. Besides, the production of salt-resistant crops is an alternative to other forage crops that do not withstand saline conditions.
It is public entities with responsibility in this area (land recovery and water treatment) that are the potential users of this technology