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Lichnoindication Method for the Monitoring of Heavy Metals


Application of Lichenoindication Method for the Monitoring of Heavy and Radionuclide Pollution of Atmosphere

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kirichenko V V

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

The goal of the Project is the possibility study of applying lichenoindication method for defining the content of beryllium, iron, cadmium, chromium, nickel, tin, barium, manganese, lead, titanium, copper, zinc, vanadium and radionuclides (tritium, uranium) in the air. In the course of the Project execution there will be used epiphytic lichens growing in natural conditions. The control over the atmosphere will be performed with the help of the well-known technique of selecting air samples to filters. The content of HM, Be both in the air samples and in lichens will be defined by the method of atomic-emission and atomic-absorption spectroscopy, the content of uranium - by the luminescent method and will the aid of mass-spectrometry analysis; the content of tritium - with the aid of liquid scintillation. The experimental data will be processed with correlation-regression method.

The uniqueness of the Project consists in the fact that by now such works on the study of accumulating properties of lichens as related to HM, Be and RN in conditions, have not been practically implemented.

The expected results of the Project are as follows

a) Experimental data on HM and RN contents in lichens and on the level of atmospheric pollution.
b) Relations between the content of admixtures under control in lichens and their concentration in atmosphere.
c) Technique for defining medium composition through lichenoindication method.

The technique developed will add to the existing method of analyzing the state of atmosphere, which employs sample selection to filters. Further development of investigations in this direction will allow working out a unique approach to the application of the method of HM, Be, RN lichenoindication for the purpose of analyzing the atmosphere in different nature-climate zones. The technique of HM, Be, and RN lichenoindication may become a prototype for creation of the methods of global monitoring of atmospheric pollution levels.

For execution of the Project there are required foreign partners to discuss and implement joint experiments, to participate in the processing, analysis and testing of measurement results, to exchange information on methods and approaches, to hold joint seminars and workshops, to help in international certification and standardization of techniques. The results obtained in the course of Project execution may be of interest for the scientists occupied with the problems of ecology why work in the universities and scientific centers. Bellow is given the list of such organizations.

1. Health and Environmental Sciences Division, Chaik River Laboratories, CANADA.
2. Division of Environment Shielding, Laverence Livermore National Laboratories, USA.
3. Delft University of Technology, Interfaculty Reactor Institute (IRI), Department Radiocemistry, NETHERLANDS.
4. Institute og Plant Ecology, University of Copenhagen, DENMARK.
5. Department of Plant Ecology, University of Lund, SWEDEN.
6. Department of Botany and Microbiology, USA.
7. Faculty of Biology, Utah University, USA.
8. Research Institute of Plants Protection, NETHERLANDS.
9. Helsinki University, FINLAND.


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