Iranian Researchers Prevent Heavy Metals Release Into Groundwater Aquifer

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 14:31

Iranian researchers have succeeded to synthesize a nanocomposite which is able to prevent heavy metals release into groundwater aquifers.

According to an ISCA report, researchers from Tarbiat Modares University could synthesize a nanocomposite, using natural and eco-friendly materials, which leads to the stabilization of heavy metals in the soil and prevent their release into the groundwater aquifers.

One of the researcher, Hoda Arabyarmohammadi, explained that due to the existence of plants’ required micronutrients, this material also can be applied as a fertilizer.

Based on the research, in this study, surface soils of the Bama Pb-Zn mine-impacted area were sampled for an area surrounding the mineral processing plant.

After collecting 65 samples and analyzing them for initial Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd metal contents, the area was zonated based on the concentration distribution using ordinary kriging in R. A single homogenous sample was prepared by mixing equal weights of each sample as being representative of the whole impacted area (ST).

Next, a synthetic model soil (SM) was prepared according to the mean ST texture (SM), divided into two portions, where one portion was amended with a biochar composite (10% w/w) (SMA), both portions were artificially contaminated with Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd (SMAC and SMC).

The mixed soil ST, and the model soils SMC and SMAC, were subjected to soil sequential extraction procedure to determine the variations in fractionation of heavy metals.

Results showed that the fractionation in the unamended model soil (SMC) was very close to the original real soil (ST). Moreover, in both amended and unamended soils, Cd and Pb had the highest and the lowest mobility, respectively. Zn and Cu showed intermediate mobilities.

The performance of the amendment was evaluated using a 150-day column leaching test taking leachate samples at designated time intervals, and Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd concentrations were analyzed.

Results of column leaching were in good agreement with the soil fractionation as Cd and Pb showed the highest and the lowest mobilities, respectively. Leaching through the soil column was also simulated by HP1 model.

Results of simulation found in acceptable proximity to the experimental data despite remarkable differences due to limitations in defining soil to the simulation system.

The research has been carried out by Hoda Arabyarmohammadi, Dr. Ahmad Khodadadi Darban and Sjoerd E.A.T.M. van der Zee which its result published in the journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

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