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Alternative dry separation of PM10 from soils for characterization by kinetic extraction: example of new Caledonian mining soils

Pasquet, Camille, Gunkel-Grillon, Peggy, Laporte-Magoni, Christine, Serres, Arnaud, Quiniou, Thomas, Rocca, François, Monna, Fabrice, Losno, Remi, van Oort, Folkert, Chateau, Carmela
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.24 pp. 25105-25113
EDTA (chelating agent), cobalt, environmental quality, filtration, fluid mechanics, manganese, nickel, nitrogen, particulates, risk, soil, soil sampling, stainless steel
A simple new device for dry separation of fine particulate matter from bulk soil samples is presented here. It consists of a stainless steel tube along which a nitrogen flow is imposed, resulting in the displacement of particles. Taking into account particle transport, fluid mechanics, and soil sample composition, a tube 6-m long, with a 0.04-m diameter, was found best adapted for PM₁₀ separation. The device rapidly produced several milligrams of particulate matter, on which chemical extractions with EDTA were subsequently performed to study the kinetic parameters of extractable metals. New Caledonian mining soils were chosen here, as a case-study. Although the easily extracted metal pool represents only 0.5–6.4 % of the total metal content for the elements studied (Ni, Co, Mn), the total concentrations are extremely high. This pool is therefore far from negligible, and can be troublesome in the environment. This dry technique for fine particle separation from bulk parent soil eliminates the metal-leaching risks inherent in wet filtration and should therefore ensure safe assessment of environmental quality in fine-textured, metal-contaminated soils.