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Environ Pollut. 2008 May;153(1):3-13. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

The use of chelating agents in the remediation of metal-contaminated soils: a review.

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Agronomy Department, Centre for Soil and Environmental Science, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


This paper reviews current remediation technologies that use chelating agents for the mobilization and removal of potentially toxic metals from contaminated soils. These processes can be done in situ as enhanced phytoextraction, chelant enhanced electrokinetic extraction and soil flushing, or ex situ as the extraction of soil slurry and soil heap/column leaching. Current proposals on how to treat and recycle waste washing solutions after soil is washed are discussed. The major controlling factors in phytoextraction and possible strategies for reducing the leaching of metals associated with the application of chelants are also reviewed. Finally, the possible impact of abiotic and biotic soil factors on the toxicity of metals left after the washing of soil and enhanced phytoextraction are briefly addressed.

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