Main content area

Removal of Pb and Zn from contaminated soil by different washing methods: the influence of reagents and ultrasound

Wang, Jiaming, Jiang, Jianguo, Li, Dean, Li, Tianran, Li, Kaimin, Tian, Sicong
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.24 pp. 20084-20091
agricultural land, agricultural soils, citric acid, heavy metals, human health, hydrochloric acid, lead, polluted soils, remediation, tartaric acid, ultrasonics, vibration, washing, zinc
Pb and Zn contamination in agricultural soils has become an important issue for human health and the environment. Washing is an effective method for remediating polluted soil. Here, we compare several washing materials and methods in the treatment of Pb- and Zn-polluted farmland soil. We examined four washing reagents, hydrochloric acid, citric acid, Na₂EDTA, and tartaric acid, all of which independently removed Zn at rates >65 %. Combining washing reagents markedly enhanced heavy metal removal, by using Na₂EDTA and either tartaric acid or lactate in sequence: Pb and Zn removal rates improved to 84.1 and 82.1 % for Na₂EDTA-tartaric acid; and to 88.3 and 89.9 % for Na₂EDTA-lactate, respectively. Additionally, combining ultrasound with conventional washing methods markedly improved washing efficiency, by shortening washing duration by 96 %. We achieved similar removal rates using ultrasound for 10 min, compared with traditional mechanical vibration alone for 4 h. We concluded that treating Pb- and Zn-contaminated soil with appropriate washing reagents under optimal conditions can greatly enhance the remediation of polluted farmland soils.