Arsenic and copper stabilisation in a contaminated soil by coal fly ash and green waste compost

Daniel C.W. Tsang, Alex C.K. Yip, William E. Olds, Paul A. Weber

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In situ metal stabilisation by amendments has been demonstrated as an appealing low-cost remediation strategy for contaminated soil. This study investigated the short-term leaching behaviour and long-term stability of As and Cu in soil amended with coal fly ash and/or green waste compost. Locally abundant inorganic (limestone and bentonite) and carbonaceous (lignite) resources were also studied for comparison. Column leaching experiments revealed that coal fly ash outperformed limestone and bentonite amendments for As stabilisation. It also maintained the As stability under continuous leaching of acidic solution, which was potentially attributed to high-affinity adsorption, co-precipitation, and pozzolanic reaction of coal fly ash. However, Cu leaching in the column experiments could not be mitigated by any of these inorganic amendments, suggesting the need for co-addition of carbonaceous materials that provides strong chelation with oxygen-containing functional groups for Cu stabilisation. Green waste compost suppressed the Cu leaching more effectively than lignite due to the difference in chemical composition and dissolved organic matter. After 9-month soil incubation, coal fly ash was able to minimise the concentrations of As and Cu in the soil solution without the addition of carbonaceous materials. Nevertheless, leachability tests suggested that the provision of green waste compost and lignite augmented the simultaneous reduction of As and Cu leachability in a fairly aggressive leaching environment. These results highlight the importance of assessing stability and remobilisation of sequestered metals under varying environmental conditions for ensuring a plausible and enduring soil stabilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10194-10204
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume21
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Contaminant sequestration
  • Industrial by-products
  • Metal mobility
  • Site remediation
  • Soil amendments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this