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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Spectroscopic Speciation and Quantification of Lead in Phosphate-Amended Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 1288-1295
    Received: Oct 21, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): Scheckel.Kirk@epa.gov
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  1. Kirk G. Scheckel * and
  2. James A. Ryan
  1. USEPA, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, 5995 Center Hill Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45224


The immobilization of Pb in contaminated soils as pyromorphite [Pb5(PO4)3Cl, OH, F] through the addition of various phosphate amendments has gained much attention in the remediation community. However, it is difficult to fully determine the speciation and amount of soil Pb converted to pyromorphite by previously employed methods, such as selective sequential extraction procedures and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, which often lead to erroneous results in these non-equilibrated and heterogeneous systems. Statistical analysis by linear combination fitting (LCF) applied to X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopic data of Pb-contaminated soil samples relative to known Pb reference material provides direct, in situ evidence of dominate Pb species in the amended soils without chemical or physical disruption to the Pb species as well as a weighted quantification output. The LCF–XAFS approach illustrated that pyromorphite concentration ranged from 0% (control soil) to 45% (1% phosphoric acid amendment, residence time of 32 mo) relative to the total Pb concentration. The Pb speciation in the nonamended control soil included Pb–sulfur species (galena + angelsite = 53%), adsorbed Pb (inner-sphere + outer-sphere + organic-bound = 45%), and Pb–carbonate phases (cerussite + hydrocerussite = 2%). The addition of P promoted pyromorphite formation and the rate of formation increased with increasing P concentration (up to 45%). The supplemental addition of an iron amendment as an iron-rich byproduct with triple superphosphate (TSP) enhanced pyromorphite formation relative to independent TSP amendment of like concentrations (41 versus 29%). However, the amendment of biosolids and biosolids plus TSP observed little pyromorphite formation (1–16% of total Pb), but a significant increase of sorbed Pb was determined by LCF–XAFS.

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