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Laboratory spiking process of soil with various uranium and other heavy metals

Chen, Liangmei, Larson, Steven L., Ballard, John H., Ma, Youhua, Zhang, Qinku, Li, Jiangxia, Wu, Linchun, Arslan, Zikri, Han, Fengxiang X.
MethodsX 2019 v.6 pp. 734-739
adsorption, grinding, heavy metals, particulates, safety equipment, soil heterogeneity, uranium
Laboratory studies using metal spiked soils are challenging due to soil heterogeneity. This work provides an easy, quick, precise, and accurate technique for the preparation of spiked soils for laboratory research. The process described spiking soil with various uranium species and other heavy metals for laboratory scale pilot experiments under various biogeochemical conditions. The procedure involves grinding both dry soil and metal chemicals into the fine powder. The spiked soil mixture was further homogenized through a modified splitting and combining of the sample by diagonal flipping using plastic sheeting. Comparison of measured concentrations with theoretical values were obtained with <20% precision and accuracy. However, tradition spiking method with metal solution often yielded high heterogeneous spiked soils due to strong metal adsorption in soils. Re-drying and re-grinding of soils were required following the spiking in order to homogenize treated soils, generating inhalable particulates. Thus appropriate personal protective equipment and practices are required for the safety concern. The present method with metal salt powder proved a safe, useful, quick, accurate and precise, and homogenized soil spiking method.ability to prepare spiked soil with multiple elements prepared soil at any level of loading the spiked soil was homogenous for controlled studies