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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Plant Availability of Zinc and Copper in Soil after Contamination with Brass Foundry Filter Dust


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 44-52
    Received: Jan 26, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): voegelin@env.ethz.ch
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  1. Isabel Hilber,
  2. Andreas Voegelin *,
  3. Kurt Barmettler and
  4. Ruben Kretzschmar
  1. Soil Chemistry, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, ETH Zentrum CHN, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland


We investigated the effect of 4 yr of aging of a noncalcareous soil contaminated with filter dust from a brass foundry (80% w/w ZnO, 15% w/w Cu0.6Zn0.4) on the chemical extractability of Zn and Cu and their uptake by barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), and sunflower (Helianthus annus L.). Pot experiments were conducted with the freshly contaminated soil (2250 mg kg−1 Zn; 503 mg kg−1 Cu), with the contaminated soil aged for 4 yr in the field (1811 mg kg−1 Zn; 385 mg kg−1 Cu), and with the uncontaminated control soil (136 mg kg−1 Zn; 32 mg kg−1 Cu). In comparison with the uncontaminated soil, the growth of barley and pea was clearly reduced in both contaminated soils, while toxicity symptoms did not systematically vary from the freshly contaminated to the 4 yr aged soil. The sunflower did not grow in the contaminated soils. The slow oxidative dissolution of the brass platelets led to an increase in the solubility and the plant uptake of Cu from the freshly contaminated to the 4 yr aged soil. In an earlier study, we found that the fine-grained ZnO dissolved in the field soil within 9 mo and that about half of the released Zn was incorporated into a layered double hydroxide phase and about half was adsorbed to the soil matrix. These changes in Zn speciation did not lead to a reduction of the Zn contents in the shoots and roots of barley and pea grown in the aged soil as compared with the freshly contaminated soil.

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