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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Effect of Dissolved Organic Matter from Sludge and Sludge Compost on Soil Copper Sorption


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 878-883
    Received: Dec 23, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jwcwong@hkbu.edu.hk
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  1. L.X. Zhoua and
  2. J.W.C. Wong *b
  1. a College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural Univ., Nanjing 210095, P.R. China
    b Dep. of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist Univ., Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China


Interaction of Cu with dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important physicochemical process affecting Cu mobility in soils. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of DOM from anaerobically digested dewatered sludge and sludge compost on the sorption of Cu on an acidic sandy loam and a calcareous clay loam. In the presence of DOM, Cu sorption capacity decreased markedly for both soils, especially for the calcareous soil. The Cu sorption isotherms could be well described by the Freundlich equation (r 2 = 0.99), and the binding intensity parameter of soils in the presence of sludge DOM was lower than compost DOM. An increase in DOM concentration significantly reduced the sorption of Cu by both soils. Within the Cu and DOM concentration range studied, the decrease in Cu sorption caused by sludge DOM was consistently greater than that of compost DOM. This might be attributed to the greater amount of hydrophobic fraction of DOM in the compost. Moreover, the reduction of Cu sorption caused by DOM was more obvious in the soil with higher pH. In addition, the sorption of Cu increased with an increase in pH for both soils without the addition of DOM, while Cu sorption in the presence of DOM was unexpectedly decreased with an increase in pH at a pH >6.8. This implied that DOM produced by sludge or other C-enriched organic wastes heavily applied on calcareous soils might facilitate the leaching loss of Cu because of the formation of soluble DOM–metal complexes.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:878–883.