Terrestrial environment

Remediation of copper polluted red soils with clay materials

Gangya Zhang , Yunqing Lin , Mingkuang Wang


Received April 01, 2010,Revised July 20, 2010, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 461-467

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Attapulgite and montmorillonite were utilized to remediate heavy metal polluted red soils in Guixi City, Jiangxi Province, China. The e ects of clay minerals on availability, chemical distribution, and biotoxicity of Cu and Zn were evaluated. The results provided a reference for the rational application of clay materials to remediate heavy metal contaminated soils. From the sorption experiment, the maximum adsorbed Cu2+ by attapulgite and montmorillonite was 1501 and 3741 mg/kg, respectively. After polluted red soil was amended with attapulgite or montmorillonite and cultured at 30 and 60 days, soil pH increased significantly compared to the control. An 8% increase in the amount of montmorillonite in soil and 30 days incubation decreased acid exchangeable Cu by 24.7% compared to the control red soil. Acid exchangeable Cu decreased with increasing amounts of attapulgite and montmorillonite, with best remediation e ect reached at a dose of 8%. Results also showed that the Cu poisoning e ect on earthworms was reduced with the addition of attapulgite and montmorillonite. Montmorillonite showed the best e ect, with the addition of a 2% dose the mortality of earthworms decreased from 60% to zero compared to the control. Our results indicated that the bioavailability of Cu in soils was reduced more e ectively with the application of montmorillonite than attapulgite.

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