Title

Sludge-derived Cu and Zn in a humic-gley soil: effect of dissolved metal-organic matter complexes on sorption and partitioning

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Burton, ED, Hawker, DW & Redding, MR 2003, ‘Sludge-derived Cu and Zn in a humic-gley soil: effect of dissolved metal-organic matter complexes on sorption and partitioning’, Soil and Sediment Contamination, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 23 – 46.

Abstract

A sequential extraction scheme was combined with sorption isotherm analysis in order to investigate sorption of sewage sludge-derived Cu and Zn to the A-horizon of a humic-gley soil as a whole, and to the operationally defined exchangeable (1 M MgCl2), carbonate (1 M NaOAc), Fe/Mn oxide (0.04 M NH2OH.HCl), and organic (0.02 M HNO3+30% H2O2) soil fractions. Sorption parameters were compared for a sample of sludge leachate (with 97.4% of Cu and 63.2% of Zn present as dissolved metal-organic matter complexes, as calculated by geochemical modelling involving MINTEQA2 and verified using an ion exchange resin method) with that of a reference solution exhibiting the same chemical characteristics as the leachate, except for the presence of dissolved organic material. Dissolved metal-organic matter complexes were found to significantly (P<0.05) depress sorption to the bulk soil and each fraction. The greatest depression of Cu and Zn sorption was observed for the exchangeable, carbonate, and Fe/Mn oxide fractions, while the organic fraction of the soil was the least affected. This reflects a greater affinity for the exchangeable, carbonate, and Fe/Mn oxide fractions by the free divalent metal (Cu2+, Zn2+), with sorption by these fractions attributed to cation exchange, chemisorption, and co-precipitation processes. The sorption characteristics of the organic fraction indicated that Cu and Zn sorption by soil organic matter mostly involved dissolved metal-organic matter complexes. This may be attributed to hydrophobic interactions between nonpolar regions of the dissolved metal-organic matter complexes and solid-phase soil organic matter.