Distribution and fractionation of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc in a calcareous sandy soil receiving municipal solid waste

Mohsen Jalali, Hamed Arfania
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2011, 173 (1-4): 241-50
This study was conducted to evaluate the degree of mobility and fractionation of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) after the addition of municipal solid sewage sludge (MSS) in a sandy calcareous soil. Treatments were (1) soil application of MSS, (2) soil application of enriched municipal solid waste compost (EMSS), and (3) control soil. The MSS application represented a dose of 200 Mg dry weight per hectare. Soil columns were incubated at room temperature for 15 days and irrigated daily with deionized water to make a total of 505 mm. At the end of leaching experiments, soil samples from each column were divided into 14 layers, each being 1 cm down to 10 and 2.5 cm below that and analyzed for diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn. The fractionation of the heavy metals in the top five layers of the surface soil samples was investigated by the sequential extraction method. All soil layers of the columns receiving MSS and EMSS had significantly higher concentrations of DTPA-extractable heavy metals than control soil. The maximum concentration of heavy metals in treated soil was in the surface layer and declined significantly with depth. Sequential extraction results showed that in the treated soil, a major proportion of Cd, Pb, and Ni was associated with organic matter (OM) and exchangeable (EXCH) fractions, and a major proportion of Cu and Zn was associated with residual (RES) and OM fractions. Based on relative percent, Pb, Cd, and Ni in the EXCH fraction was higher than Cu and Zn in soil leached with MSS and EMSS, suggesting that application of this MSS to a sandy calcareous soil, at the loading rate used here, may pose a risk in terms of groundwater contamination with Pb, Cd, and Ni.

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