phy·​to·​re·​me·​di·​a·​tion | \ ˌfī-tə-ri-ˌmē-dē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce phytoremediation (audio) \

Definition of phytoremediation

: the treatment of pollutants or waste (as in contaminated soil or groundwater) by the use of green plants that remove, degrade, or stabilize the undesirable substances (such as toxic metals) From soil loaded with metal to radionuclide-laden water, researchers hope phytoremediation with an array of species will prove a cheap way to clean man-made messes at mining, nuclear, and industrial sites.— Kathryn Sergeant Brown

Examples of phytoremediation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Elsewhere, phytoremediation is regaining popularity. Wudan Yan, New York Times, "Superfund, Meet Super Plants," 7 Apr. 2020 Another arm of the project taking place at the UVA-Wise campus in southwest Virginia is focused on finding varieties of hemp that could be used to clean up and reclaim abandoned coal mines through a process called phytoremediation. Sarah Rankin, The Seattle Times, "Virginia’s hemp research program ‘a work in progress’," 26 Dec. 2017 Called phytoremediation, Pytel said the fast-growing poplar and cottonwood trees, received from the U.S. Forest Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, can absorb petroleum in the soil and stabilize it. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "From stockings to trees, brownfield branching out," 15 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phytoremediation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phytoremediation

1991, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phytoremediation

phyto- + remediation, probably after bioremediation

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Time Traveler for phytoremediation

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The first known use of phytoremediation was in 1991

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Cite this Entry

“Phytoremediation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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