Phytoremediation, the use of plants to remediate sites contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants, and phytomining, the technology involved in extracting the pollutants removed for commercial purposes, are rapidly-growing industries with multi-million dollar markets. This solar-driven, green technology is oftenfavored over more conventional methods of clean-up due to its low cost, low impact, and wider public acceptance. In this paper we discuss phytoremediation as a valid alternative for remediating contaminated bodies of soils and water in developing countries like Sri Lanka, where clean-up can often be stalled due to the high costs associated with traditional remediation technologies. While phytoremediation techniques clearly have limitations, a carefully-planned phytoremediation-phytomining operation using native, fast-growing, deep-rooted, high-biomass species, will not only remediate contaminated sites, greatly reducing exposure to contaminants by humans and wildlife, but also generate income from otherwise barren land unsuitable for agricultural or recreational purposes.



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