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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Effect of Cobalt Sorption on Metal Fractionation in Anaerobic Granular Sludge


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 1256-1270
    Received: Feb 24, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): piet.lens@wur.nl
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  1. M. Begoña Osunaab,
  2. Eric D. van Hullebuscha,
  3. Marcel H. Zandvoorta,
  4. Jon Izab and
  5. Piet N. L. Lens *a
  1. a Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, University of Wageningen, NL-6700-EV Wageningen, the Netherlands
    b Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, School of Engineering, University of Basque Country, E-48013 Bilbao, Spain


A sequential extraction procedure was applied to two anaerobic methanogenic sludges (Eerbeek and Nedalco) to examine the speciation of micro- and macronutrients in the sludges after cobalt sorption by exposing the sludge to a 1 mM Co solution for 4 d at pH 7 and 30°C. The effect of different physicochemical conditions on cobalt sorption was studied as well: effect of pH (6–8), effect of competition by a second trace element (Ni or Fe), modification of the granular matrix by glutaraldehyde or heat treatment, and EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) addition. Sorbed Co was found to distribute between the carbonates, organic matter + sulfides, and residual fractions. Cobalt adsorption resulted in an antagonistic interaction with other metals present in the granular matrix, evidenced by the solubilization of other trace elements (e.g., Ni, Cu, and Zn) as well as macronutrients (especially Ca and Fe). Modification of the sludge matrix by glutaraldehyde or heat treatment, or exposure to EDTA, led to serious modifications of the Co sorption capacity and strong interactions with multivalent cations (i.e., Ca2+ and Fe2+).

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