Utilization of multi-tasking non-edible plants for phytoremediation and bioenergy source
The global growing population presupposes production of more goods and services to accomplish the increasing requirements of mankind, which is the main reason for expanded and uncontrolled industrial development. These rapid and uncontrolled industrialization has caused two fundamental problems: an energy crisis and environmental pollution. Heavy metal accumulation is among the major factors contributing to the environmental pollution. They are non-biodegradable, and their accumulation in the soil has a negative impact on plant, animal and human health. Hence, remediation of toxic heavy metals must be seriously considered. Phytoremediation technology could be more sustainable approach for soil remediation that others as it is costless, novel and environmentally safe. Compared to edible crops and medicinal plants, non-edible plants seem to be a more feasible option as they offer several advantages including elimination of heavy metal pollution, by-product and bioenergy generation as well as other related environmental benefits, and they are not being involved in the food/feed chain or other direct human or animal applications. In the present review, we will focus on identifying the most popular nonedible bioenergy plants utilized for phytoremediation and bioenergy generation such as Salix species, Miscanthus species, Populus species, Eucalyptus species, Ricinus communis, and Cannabis sativa, sustainable problems facing phytoremediation coupling with energy production as well as possible strategies to enhance the efficiency of these plants for soil decontamination by improving their characteristics such as metal uptake, transport, accumulation, and tolerance.