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J Environ Manage. 2014 Jun 15;139:146-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.024. Epub 2014 Mar 29.

Stabilising metal(loid)s in soil with iron and aluminium-based products: microbial, biochemical and plant growth impact.

Author information

  • 1Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: ggarau@uniss.it.
  • 2Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: silvetti@uniss.it.
  • 3Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: castaldi@uniss.it.
  • 4Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: emele@uniss.it.
  • 5Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: pdeiana@uniss.it.
  • 6Sezione di Scienze e Tecnologie Ambientali e Alimentari (S.T.A.A.), Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy. Electronic address: sadeiana@uniss.it.

Abstract

Four iron and aluminium-based products, including red mud (RM), hematite (Fe2O3), an iron-rich water treatment residual (Fe-WTR) and amorphous Al hydroxide (Al-OH), were evaluated for their effectiveness at stabilising As and heavy metals (i.e. Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) in a circumneutral contaminated soil [As (2105 mg kg(-1)), Cd (18 mg kg(-1)), Cu (264 mg kg(-1)), Pb (710 mg kg(-1)), Zn (522 mg kg(-1))]. Treatment impacts on soil microbial and biochemical features (i.e. microbial biomass-C, microbial counts, 16S rRNA PCR-TTGE of culturable bacteria, dehydrogenase, urease and β-glucosidase activity, Biolog derived parameters-AWCD and richness) as well as bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and wheat (Triticum vulgare) growth were also assessed. After 6 months equilibration, all the amendments (application rate 3% w/w) but RM reduced labile As while only Al-OH reduced the concentration of water-soluble heavy metals. Despite the highest bioavailability of contaminants, most of the soil microbial and biochemical features monitored (i.e. microbial biomass-C, total bacterial counts, dehydrogenase activity and AWCD) were significantly higher in the RM-soil. Bean germination was completely inhibited in RM-soil while wheat growth was similar to that of the control. The Al-OH treatment was best overall, promoting microbial abundance, diversity and activity while increasing bean and wheat growth and reducing As accumulated in plant shoots. Results suggest that Al-OH is a suitable candidate for field evaluations while the use of RM in the remediation of circumneutral or subalkaline contaminated soils should be reconsidered.

KEYWORDS:

Arsenic-polluted soil; Iron and aluminium-based products; Plant growth; Sequential extraction; Soil enzyme activity; Soil microbial community

PMID:
24685456
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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