Heavy metal extraction from an artificially contaminated sandy soil under EDDS deficiency: Significance of humic acid and chelant mixture

T. C M Yip, D. Y S Yan, M. M T Yui, Chiu Wa Tsang, I. M C Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Biodegradable EDDS ([S,S]-ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid) has been suggested for enhancing heavy metal extraction from contaminated soils. Recent studies showed that Zn and Pb are less effectively extracted due to metal exchange and re-adsorption onto the soil surfaces, especially for EDDS-deficiency conditions. This study therefore investigated the influence of dissolved organic matter and the co-presence of EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetraacetic acid) on metal extraction from an artificially contaminated sandy soil under deficient amount of chelants in batch kinetics experiments. The addition of 10 and 20mgL-1of humic acid as dissolved organic matter (DOC) suppressed metal extraction by EDDS, probably resulting from the competition of adsorbed humic acid for heavy metals and adsorption of metal-humate complexes onto the soil surfaces. The effects were most significant for Pb because of greater extent of metal exchange of PbEDDS and high affinity towards organic matter. Thus, one should be cautious when there is a high content of organic matter in soils or groundwater. On the other hand, compared to individual additions of EDDS or EDTA, the equimolar EDDS and EDTA mixture exhibited significantly higher Pb extraction without notable Pb re-adsorption. The synergistic performance of the EDDS and EDTA mixture probably resulted from the change of chemical speciation and thus less competition among Cu, Zn and Pb for each chelant. These findings suggest further investigation into an optimum chemistry of the chelant mixture taking into account the effectiveness and associated environmental impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chelanting agent
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • EDTA
  • Metal-chelant complex
  • Soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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