Effects of industrial by-product amendments on As, Cd and Tl retention/release in an element-spiked acidic soil

Aguilar-Carrillo Javier, Barrios Laura, Garrido Fernando y Garcia-Gonzalez María Teresa
Applied Geochemistry, Vol.22, Pag. 1515-1529., 2007.


To asses the efficiency of two by-products (phosphogypsum (PG) and sugar foam (SF), rich in gypsum and calcium carbonate, respectively) in the immobilization of three toxic elements (As, Cd and Tl) in an acidic soil, batch-scale sorption and desorption experiments were conducted after 18 months of in situ amendment application. The Langmuir isotherms applied for sorption studies showed that the estimated maximum sorption capacity of the elements was highest in the SF-treated samples. The amount of element retained and the percentage of extraction after TCLP tests indicated that those samples amended with sugar foam (SF and PG + SF) had the potential to immobilize As, Cd and Tl in an acidic soil with low sorptive capacity. In addition to sorption and desorption experiments, scanning electron microscopy in back-scattered electron mode (SEM-BSE) showed the formation of Al-hydroxy polymers which provides the soil with additional sorption capacity. The three target elements were associated with the Al-hydroxy polymers, probably through direct coordination or the formation of ternary complexes. By means of statistical analysis it has been found that sorption processes of As, Cd and Tl in this soil mainly depend on the treatment, whereas desorption is an element-dependent process.