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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Assessment of the Use of Industrial By-Products to Remediate a Copper- and Arsenic-Contaminated Soil


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 3, p. 902-910
    Received: July 29, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): enzo.lombi@csiro.au
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  1. Enzo Lombi *ab,
  2. Rebecca E. Hamonb,
  3. Gerlinde Wieshammerac,
  4. Mike J. McLaughlinb and
  5. Steve P. McGratha
  1. a Rothamsted Research, Agriculture and the Environment Division, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK
    b CSIRO Land and Water, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    c University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science, Gregor Mendel Strasse 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria


Two water treatment sludges (WTS-A, WTS-B), two red muds (RM), and red gypsum (RG), all rich in iron oxy-hydroxides, were added to a soil highly polluted with As and Cu at 2% (w/w) to reduce metal bioavailability. Because the amendments increased soil pH to approximately 6, a lime treatment to the same pH and an unamended treatment were included for comparison. All the amendments had significant positive effects on the soil microbial biomass and growth of ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam. cv. Avance), but only WTS-A improved lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Tom Thumb) growth. The mineralization of added ammonium nitrogen was not significantly affected by the treatments, while a physiologically based extraction test (PBET) showed that bioaccessibility of As was low (<5%) and decreased only in the WTS-A treatment. Concentrations of As in soil pore water and extractable As only decreased in the WTS and RG treatments. In contrast, Cu concentrations in soil pore water and extractable Cu decreased in all treatments, by more than 84% in the WTS, RM, and RG treatments. Non-isotopically exchangeable As and Cu were present in colloids in the soil pore water. Untreated soil had <4% isotopically exchangeable As and this decreased by approximately 50%, with WTS, RM, and RG. The labile Cu pool represented a large proportion (34%) of the total Cu pool, and the isotopically exchangeable and soluble Cu were strongly correlated with soil pH. Acidification of the treated soils showed that the labile As and Cu both increased in the treated soils compared with untreated soils. The significance of the treatment effects on soil fertility and potential off-site transport of As and Cu to ground water are discussed.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA