Uses and abuses of water hyacinth

Water hyacinth, Eichornia crassipes, is known as the world’s worst aquatic weed because of its prolific growth.  It lowers biodiversity in tropical waterways, shelters pests like mosquitos, and causes eutrophication.  But all that biomass could have its uses.  Patel summarizes research on using water hyacinth in wastewater treatment, production of biofuels, animal feed and many other uses.

water hyacinth

Dense growth of water hyacinth in a Florida waterway

Patel, S. 2012. Threats, management and envisaged utilizations of aquatic weed Eichhornia crassipes: an overview. Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology, online 08 July 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11157-012-9289-4

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