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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 903-911
    Received: May 4, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): ryan.jim@epa.gov
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Adsorption of Cadmium on Biosolids-Amended Soils

  1. Zhenbin Li,
  2. James A. Ryan *,
  3. Jiann-Long Chen and
  4. Souhail R. Al-Abed
  1. National Risk Management Research Lab., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45268


Debate exists over the biosolid phase (organic or inorganic) responsible for the reduction in phytoavailable Cd in soils amended with biosolids as compared with soils amended with inorganic salts. To test the importance of these two phases, adsorption isotherms were developed for soil samples (nine biosolids-amended soils and their five companion controls) and two biosolids samples from five experimental sites with documented histories of biosolids application. Subsamples were treated with 0.7 M NaClO to remove organic carbon. Cadmium nitrate was added to both moist soil samples and their soil inorganic fractions (SIF) in a 0.01 M Ca(NO3)2 solution at three pH levels (6.5, 5.5, and 4.5), and equilibrated at 22 ± 1°C for at least 48 h. Isotherms of Cd adsorption for biosolids-amended soil were intermediate to the control soil and biosolids. Decreasing pH did not remove the difference between these isotherms, although adsorption of Cd decreased with decreasing pH level. Organic matter removal reduced Cd adsorption on all soils but had little influence on the observed difference between biosolids-amended and control soils. Thus, increased adsorption associated with biosolids application was not limited to the organic matter addition from biosolids; rather, the biosolids application also altered the adsorptive properties of the SIF. The greater affinity of the inorganic fraction of biosolids-amended soils to adsorb Cd suggests that the increased retention of Cd on biosolids-amended soils is independent of the added organic matter and of a persistent nature.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:903–911.