Colloidal Mobilization and Fate of Trace Heavy Metals in Semi-Saturated Artificial Soil (OECD) Irrigated with Treated Wastewater

Ludovico Pontoni, Eric van Hullebusch, Yoan Pechaud, Massimiliano Fabbricino, Giovanni Esposito, Francesco Pirozzi
2016 Sustainability  
The mobility of selected heavy metals in trace concentrations was investigated in a standard OECD soil irrigated with the effluent of a real municipal wastewater treatment plant. While Cd, Cu and Ni accumulation-migration patterns were mainly influenced by the mobility of colloids generated from soil organic and inorganic matter, Zn mobility was more influenced by the wastewater content of dissolved organic matter and by its salinity. Metal accumulation caused by interaction with colloids
more » ... with colloids resulted in contamination peaks both in different zones of the soil column and in the leaching solution. The release of metals in the leachate was correlated to the contemporary release of silicates from kaolinite and dissolved organic matter, identified through UV absorbance and chemical oxygen demand monitoring. The hypothesized colloidal mobilization was confirmed by spectroscopic studies. The highly heterogeneous complexes of organic and inorganic molecules responsible for metal transport through soil appeared to be structured in highly stable micellar aggregates.
doi:10.3390/su8121257 fatcat:lhhavlxck5ckfkmeiswjg4ieq4