Combined application of EDDS and EDTA for removal of potentially toxic elements under multiple soil washing schemes

Jingzi Beiyuan, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Marjorie Valix, Kitae Baek, Yong Sik Ok, Weihua Zhang, Nanthi S. Bolan, Jörg Rinklebe, Xiangdong Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Chelant-enhanced soil washing, such as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and biodegradable EDDS ([S,S]-ethylene-diamine-disuccinic acid), has been widely studied, however, EDTA is persistent under natural conditions while EDDS has a low efficiency for Pb extraction. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of mixed chelants (EDDS and EDTA mixture at 1:1 M ratio) for the removal of Cu, Zn, and Pb from a field-contaminated soil using various washing schemes (multi-pulse, step-gradient chelant, and continuous washing schemes). Speciation modelling of the target metals, mineral elements, and EDDS/EDTA was performed, while the leachability and bioaccessibility of residual metals in the treated soils were also assessed. Our results suggested that the combined use of EDDS and EDTA reached equivalent extraction efficiency of the target metals as EDTA, i.e., 50% reduction in the dosage of EDTA was made possible. This was accomplished by selective extraction of Cu by EDDS and Pb by EDTA, which was supported by the results of speciation calculation. Multi-pulse washing scheme with intermittent water rinsing steps removed entrapped metal-chelant complexes and free chelants, therefore reducing the leachability and bioaccessibility of residual metals in the treated soils. Step-gradient chelant washing with the maximum dosage of chelants in the first washing step only achieved marginal improvement but undesirably promoted Pb bioaccessibility. Continuous washing for 24 h enhanced metal extraction but promoted mineral dissolution, together with a large amount of uncomplexed chelants and increase in Cu leachability. Thus the combined use of EDDS and EDTA in multi-pulse washing is recommended for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Bioaccessibility
  • Biodegradable chelant
  • Chemical-enhanced washing
  • Leachability
  • Metal extraction
  • Soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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