JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY MINI PROJECT
COMPARISON IN EFFICIENCY of Eichhornia crassipes
and Limnocharis Flava in WATER POLLUTION
LECTURER’S NAME : DR HASIMAH ALIMON
NAME MATRIC NO.
SARAH SABILLAH BT. IBRAHIM D20091034820
NOOR ZANARRIYAH BT.
SITI RAHAYU BT. MOHAMED
COMPARISON IN EFFICIENCY of Eichhornia crassipes and Limnocharis flava in WATER
SARAH SABILLAH BINTI IBRAHIM
NOOR ZANARRIYAH BINTI MOHAMAD GANI
SITI RAHAYU BINTI MOHAMED NOOR
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS
UNIVERSITI PENDIDIKAN SULTAN IDRIS
PERAK DARUL RIDZUAN
The purpose of this mini project is to analyze which plant between Eichhornia crassipes and
Limnocharis flava is more efficient in treating polluted water. Both of these two plants are
chosen because they are from the most popular choices in treating polluted water in previous
experiments. The drain water sample was taken from Tg. Malim area. The chosen plants have
been provided by the Biology laboratory of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. The study is
done by using experimental method. There are 8 pails (5 gallon each) altogether, 3 pails for
polluted water treated with Eichhornia crassipes (E.) sp., the other 3 pails for polluted water
tretaed with Limnocharis flava(L.) sp and the rest 2 pails left are used as control both for two
types of plant. For the control, we had used the dechlorinated water. The plants were soaked
in the water for 15 days throughout the experiment. The method or device used to analyze the
rate of water treatment is pH meter. This eperiment is done for 15days.
Treatment using Eichhornia crassipes (E.) sp. of polluted water exhibited the drastic changes
in pH reading after two days of experiment. From the initial pH reading of polluted water
treated with Eichhornia crassipes that is 6.60, it rose up to 7.05 which indicates the polluted
water has become neutral. From the results it is clearly showned that the pH reading for
Limnocharis flava(L.) on the same day is 6.87. The pH reading for polluted water treated with
(L.)sp. only reached neutral on the 4th
day of experiment, with a reading of 7.01. From here it
is proved that, E.sp. has a higher efficiency in treating the polluted water compared to L.sp.
Based on the analysis from the results tabulated, the use of Eichhornia crassipes (E.) sp in
treated polluted water is more efficient compared to Limnocharis flava(L.) The data resulting
from the experiment was analyze by using pH meter with same code number throughout the
Water pollution is an undesirable change in the state of water, contaminated with harmful
substances. It can be described as any change in the physical, chemical and biological
properties of water that has a harmful effect on living things. The effects of water pollution
are very harmful to human beings, animal, plants, birds and fish. Polluted water can cause
waterborne diseases and other harmful microorganisms. Normally, the main sources of water
pollution are domestic wastes, industrial effluents and agricultural wastes including oil spills,
atmospheric deposition, marine dumping, radioactive waste, global warming and
Plant water treatment also known as phytoremidiation. Phytoremediation consists in
mitigating pollutant concentrations in contaminated soils, water, or air, with plants able to
contain, degrade, or eliminate metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil and its
derivatives, and various other contaminants from the media that contain them.
One fact is phytoremediation works best at sites with low to medium amounts of pollution.
When the roots of plants absorb nutrients and water from polluted soil, streams, and
groundwater, it will remove harmful chemicals from the ground. As the roots grow up, plants
can clean chemicals as deep as possible. Once the chemicals or any other material are
absorbed by these plants, they will be stored in the plant’s root, stem and leaves too. After
that, it remains in the plant body and becomes less harmful material. Besides that, the harmful
chemicals are converted into the gases and released into the atmosphere in the process of
Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) and Limnocharis flava are both aquatic plants that are
also known as macrophytes. These microphytes have been used in this mini project because
they have their own special characteristics and are able to treat the wastewater due to their
special characteristics. Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) is a free floating species which
most of the leaf, stem tissue and roots float above the water surface. Parija (1934), described
E. crassipes as a free-floating stoloniferous herb. It is one single plant consists of a
rhizomatous stem, a rosette of leaves and numerous adventitious roots. While, Limnocharis
flava is a emergent species. It is a rooted plants in shallow water with most of their leaf and
stem tissue emerge above the water surface.
1. To study the efficiency between both Eichhornia Crassipes and Limnocharis Flava in
Water Pollution Treatment.
2. To observe the changes in pH of polluted water treated by Eichhornia Crassipes and
Limnocharis Flava in 15 days.
3. To apply the concept of water treatment.
1. Which plant is more efficient in water pollution treatment?
2. What are the special characteristics that both Eichhornia crassipes(E.c) and
Limnocharis flava(L.f) have to be the most popular choices in phytoremidiation?
3. Why is that Limnocharis flava is less efficient than Eichhornia crassipes in treating
polluted water based from the experiment?
4. How did we run the experiment in using the concept of water pollution treatment?
The effects of water pollution are far-reaching and affect not only the environment, but human
beings and animals as well.Water pollution affects our oceans, lakes, rivers, and drinking
water, making it a widespread and global concern. Numerous diseases, health problems, and
even fatalities have been associated with water pollution. Water is considered polluted when
chemicals, pathogens, or contaminants are detected. Human beings have the most crucial
impact on our water resources. They also have the ability to control or eliminate water
pollution. The cost that needed to cleaned up is very high and also can cause many
environmental damage such as sound pollution . Why we use plant in treat water pollution?
This is because, using of plant to treat the waste water only need lower budget rather than the
use of the advanced technologies. For exampe is phytoremediation which is needed lower
budjet in water pollution treatment. Not only that, the used of plant also maybe will cause
nothing or only a small damage to our environment and the ecosystem. Plant water treatment,
a plant-based technology, offers cost-effective and environment friendly alternative to
physical methods. This process only using a simple and easy technique which is can be
handled by students. More pollution can be settled in a short time period. This allows workers
to avoid contact with harmful chemicals while the process of water treatment because most of
the work totally are done by that plant.
Population and sample of mini project
Sample of waste water chosen are drain water. The drain water was taken from area of Tg.
Malim which is besides the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)’s franchais. Those drain water
was very suitable since it came from the domestic wastes of KFC. So, that drain water would
be very dirty and contains lots of heavy metals. The sample size used was 8 pails which have
same size that enough to put 25 % of plants into it. While doing this experiment, we were
guided and monitered by our beloved lecturer, Dr. Hasimah bt. Alimon. Besides that, we also
got advices and guides from Dr’s assistant, Faizah (Pari).
This mini project showed the effeciency of Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) and
Limnocharis Flava (water cabbage) in treating waste water by absorbing heavy metals. The
effeciency was rated by measuring the changes of Ph in water used in this experiment.
This mini project was done for two species of plants which are Eichhornia crassipes (water
hyacinth) and Limnocharis Flava (water cabbage). Both of these two plants are chosen
because they are the most popular choices in treating polluted water in previous experiments.
The drain water sample was taken from Tg. Malim area. The chosen plants had been provided
by the biology laboratory.
Apparatus and Materials
Apparatus that are needed to conduct this experiment are 8 pails (5 gallon each), measuring
cylinder and pH meter. All of these things can be found in the laboratory from the lab
assistants. The materials that were used are Buffer solution (pH 4 and PH 7), polluted water
(drain water), dechlorinated water, Eichornia Crassipes, and Limnocharis Flava. Before used
the pH meter, it has to be calibrated by using buffer solution (pH4 and pH 7). This is vital to
make sure that we have an accurate result.
Firstly, the pH meter was calibrated in buffer solution with pH 7. After a few minute, when
the pH meter is stabled, the pH meter will show the range of reading around 7. After that, the
pH meter was put into buffer solution with pH 4 and the reading on pH meter will show the
reading around 4. At that time, the pH meter was ready to be used. The polluted water that is
used in this experiment was taken from drain which is the results of domestic waste. The
drain’s water was filled in six pails and brought back to the laboratory to be examined the pH
reading. Dechlorinated water was prepared in the laboratory. Dechlorinated is the removal of
chlorine. Steps to prepared dechlorinated water are, two pails were filled with pipe water and
the pails were covered. The pails were left about 24 hours in the laboratory. After that, the
water is ready to be used for the experiment. Eichornia crassipes,and Limnocharis flava were
already provided by the lab assistance. Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) is a member of
the pickerelweed family (Pontederiaceae). Limnocharis flava is a member of the family
Alismataceae also placed in Limnocharitaceae. First step to start the experiment was, 14L of
polluted water was poured into three pails and was treated with Eichornia Crassipes. Also
with the same amount, 14L of polluted water was poured into three pails and was treated with
Limnocharis Flava. The other two pails also used 14L of dechlorinated water as the control of
experiment. The amount of water that is 14L must be equal in eight pails. Small amount of
water in eight pails was poured into measuring cylinder and the pH reading was taken using
pH meter. The pH reading that shown by the pH meter was recorded. The pH reading was
taken every day and the graph was plotted. The same pH meter with the same code number is
used throughout the experiment that is A02003.
There are two types of aquatic plant that we had used to treat the polluted water in this
experiment which are, Eichhornia crassipes(E.c) and Limnocharis flava(L.f). Eichhornia
crassipes(E.c) is a type of floating wetland plant whereas Limnocharis flava(L.f) is a type of
emergent wetland plant.
Both of these two plants are the most popular choices in treating the polluted water.
Therefore, we had conducted an experiment to determine which of these two has the higher
efficiency in treating the polluted water. The variable that we use to determine which plant is
more efficient is pH meter.
The pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Pure water is said to be neutral.
The pH for pure water at 25 °C (77 °F) is close to 7.0. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said
to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are said to be basic or alkaline. In this
experiment, we had used drain water which is from domestic waste and dichlorinated water as
the control. Dechlorinated water is the water that do not have any impurities in it. The
dechlorinted water is actually pipe water that is left overnight with cover on top of the pail.
Our experiment takes 15days to see the results in pH reading.
The initial pH reading ( 0 day) for dichlorinated water is 7.20. Both of the control, Eichhornia
crassipes(E.c) and Limnocharis flava(L.f) have the same initial pH reading. The initial pH
reading for treated polluted water with Eichhornia crassipes(E.c) is 6.60 and Limnocharis
flava(L.f) is 6.57. On the second day of the experiment, the pH reading for polluted water
treated with Eichhornia crassipes(E.c) has showned a drastic change with pH reading of 7.05.
The pH reading for Limnocharis flava(L.f) on the same day is 6.87. The pH reading for
polluted water treated with L.f only reached neutral on the 4th
day of experiment, with a
reading of 7.01. From here it is proved that, E.c has a higher efficiency in treating the polluted
water compared to L.f.
The control for both Eichhornia crassipes(E.c)and Limnocharis flava(L.f) were setup to see
that whether those plant have effect in non –polluted water. The results show that on 7th day
of experiment the pH reading for both control dropped, which indicates the acidic state. This
is probably due to rain that takes place on 7th day of experiment. For both control, the pail
were put under exposed area. But on 11th day of experiment, both control shows a neutral pH
reading which is 7.
Discussion of Issues
Which plant is more efficient in water pollution treatment?
Based on the experiment, results shows that Eichhornia crassipes has more higher efficiency
compared to Limnocharis flava(L.f) in treating the polluted water. This is because from the
experiment we found out pH of polluted water has become neutral at 2nd
day of experiment
when treated with Eichhornia crassipes. The initial pH reading for the polluted water is 6.60
and after two days it rose up to 7.05 which is considered neutral.
What are the special characteristics that both Eichhornia crassipes(E.c) and
Limnocharis flava(L.f) have to be the most popular choices in phytoremidiation?
For Eichhornia crassipes(E.c), it has its own special characteritics. It has the ability to absorb
inorganic nutrients and store them in its roots, as well as convert nutrients to plant material
that can be removed from the water. Roots hanging submersed from the water beneath
floating leaves. Water hyacinth grows faster than any other tested plant. The fibrous root
system of water hyacinth provides nesting habitat for invertebrates and insects. Water
hyacinth is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet. A group of plants can double its
population every seven days. Because of its rapid rate of growth, water hyacinth has the
potential to quickly absorb waste from sewage water. This converts the waste to plant material
that can be removed manually. Water hyacinth that has been grown in sewage can be
harvested and then composted for organic fertilizer. It can also be processed into biofuel.
Water hyacinths have long been known for their water-cleaning properties. The free-floating
water plants help remove ammonia and phosphates from pond water. They work so well that
they're now used inware treatment facilities. The base of the plant is inflated giving it high
buoyancy and making it floats high in the water.
For Limnocharis flava(L.f) as well, its own special characteristics are more or less the same
with Eichhornia crassipes. Limnocharis flava is a perennial, rhizomatous aquatic plant with milky
sap that can grow to a height of 1m. It also has the ability to absorb heavy metal like water hyacinth
did. Based from previous research that we had searched, it is found that heavy metal analysis of
plants roots and leaves for species, Limnocharis flava and Eichhornia Crassipes, shows that
both species is capable of accumulate heavy metals like iron and manganese for both plants.
For Limnocharis flava 54% Fe uptake by leaves while 44% uptake by roots and Mn uptake by
roots was 51% while 34% by leaves. While for Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth), heavy
metals were found to have accumulated in roots more than leaves. Heavy metals were found
to have accumulated in roots more than petioles and least in leaves of Eichhornia crassipes
(Soltan and Rashed, 2001).
Why is that Limnocharis flava is less efficient than Eichhornia crassipes in treating
polluted water based from the experiment?
This is due to several factors. We do know that both of these plant are among the popular
choices in treating polluted water, but there are some weaknesses that make Limnocharis
flava less efficient than Eichhornia crassipes. For example, habitat of Limnocharis flava is in
shallow water as it is from emergent type of wetland plant. Eichhornia crassipes habitat’s is
in floating, "obligate" which means it require a wet habitat as it is a floating type of wetland plant.
Thus, in this experiment the depth of water that we used is high which we analyze at the end of the
experiment it favours Eichhornia crassipes more. Then, this explains why the Eichhornia
crassipes can neutralise the polluted water faster than Limnocharis flava.
How did we run the experiment in using the concept of water pollution treatment?
We had applied the concept of water pollution treatment by using two types of plants that are among
of popular choices in water treatment. The plants that were used are Eichhornia crassipes and
Limnocharis flava. The efficiency of water treatment by using both plants was obtained by taking the
pH reading for 15days. The most efficient plant shows the value of pH become 7 (neutral) in just two
days after experiment had started, that is Eichhornia crassipes.
From this mini project of Plant Water Treatment for Plant Physiology, we had highlighted
some suggestions to based on what we had discussed and concluded earlier. This is to
improve and increase the efficiency of plant water treatment experiment and application
concept. These are some suggestions from our group :
i. While doing the experiment about Water Pollution Treatment, every step in
procedures should be followed clearly and carefully. This is to ensure that the future
result is not being disturbed, which will cause us to extend the period to repeat the
experiment in few times.
ii. In order to get better result, it is important to run the experiment with the guide of
previously experiment doing by other researchers. All the steps in the procedures must
have guideline research as a control to make sure our objectives of mini project did not
deviates. This for surely will not affect our result. Besides that, do not forget to seek
advices from lecturer.
iii. The students or researcher that are planning to do thesis study on plant water treatment
must have prior knowledge about the suitable plants to be taken as sample. Knowledge
about the measurement and scale are also needed to be used that research.
iv. The result of this mini project will be more precise if the Ph reading of water is taken
carefully for everyday. The tools that have been used along the experiment should be
the same to avoid error in data reading.
v. Using data logger to take pH reading is more accurate and easier in next eperiment on
water pollution treatment.
In this experiment, we are able to study the efficiency between both Eichhornia Crassipes and
Limnocharis Flava in water pollution treatment.The most efficient plant in water pollution
treatment is Eichhornia Crassipes. Other than that we are able to observe the changes in pH
of polluted water treated by Eichhornia Crassipes and Limnocharis Flava in 15 days. All the
results were taken using pH meter with the same code number throughout the experiment. We
are also able to apply the concept of water treatment while conducting this experiment.