Leachability and plant availability of trace elements in Pb/Zn mine soil treated with different amendments

Z. Elouear, R. Yousfi, J. Bouzid


A multi metal polluted soil from Jebel Ressas mining area (Southern of Tunisia) was treated with four cost-effective amendments (CaCO3, phosphate rock, activated carbon, and exhausted olive cake ash). Lixiviate from each treated and untreated soil were analyzed, and ryegrass-seed bioassays (Lolium perenne L.) were performed. The Cd, Pb and Zn leaching was reduced by all amendments mainly due to alkalinity increase. Phosphate rock addition to the soil reduced metal concentration in plant tissue. Additionally, the activated carbon amendment significantly decreased accumulation of Cd, Zn and Pb in the plant studied. The results obtained in this study suggest that the the addition of CaCO3 offered the best compromise as it successfully reduced both the leaching and the phytoavailability of the three considered metals.

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