Main content area

Sustainability of in situ remediation of Cu- and Cd-contaminated soils with one-time application of amendments in Guixi, China

Cui, Hongbiao, Fan, Yuchao, Xu, Lei, Zhou, Jing, Zhou, Dongmei, Mao, Jingdong, Fang, Guodong, Cang, Long, Zhu, Zhenqiu
Journal of soils and sediments 2016 v.16 no.5 pp. 1498-1508
Lolium, Setaria pumila subsp. pumila, apatite, bioavailability, biomass, cadmium, charcoal, copper, field experimentation, food security, heavy metals, polluted soils, remediation, risk, soil acidification, soil amendments, soil structure, toxic substances, weeds, China
PURPOSE: In situ immobilization of heavy metal-contaminated soils with the repeated incorporation of amendments can effectively reduce the bioavailability of soil heavy metals. However, the long-term application of amendments would lead to the destruction of soil structure and accumulation of soil toxic elements, ultimately affecting food security and quality. Thus, the sustainability of the amendments in a heavy metal-contaminated soil was evaluated from 2010 to 2012. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Batch field experiments were conducted in the soils, which were amended with apatite (22.3 t ha⁻¹), lime (4.45 t ha⁻¹), and charcoal (66.8 t ha⁻¹), respectively. The amendments were applied only one time in 2009, and ryegrass was sown each year. Ryegrass and setaria glauca (a kind of weed) were harvested each year. Concentrations of copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) were determined by batch experiments. Five fractions of Cu and Cd were evaluated by a sequential extraction procedure. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Ryegrass grew well in the amended soils in the first year, but it failed to grow in all the soils in the third year. However, setaria glauca could grow with higher biomass in all the amended soils. The treatment of apatite combined with plants was more effective than lime and charcoal treatments in removing Cu and Cd from the contaminated soils by taking biomass into account. Apatite had the best sustainable effect on alleviating soil acidification. The Cu and Cd concentrations of CaCl₂-extractable and exchangeable fractions decreased with the application of amendments. Moreover, apatite and lime could effectively maintain the bioavailability of Cu and Cd low. CONCLUSIONS: Apatite had a better sustainable effect on the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils than lime and charcoal. Although all the amendment treated soils did not reduce soil total concentrations of Cu and Cd, they could effectively reduce the environmental risk of the contaminated soils. The findings could be effectively used for in situ remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils.