Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 32, pp 32130–32139 | Cite as

Organic matter facilitates the binding of Pb to iron oxides in a subtropical contaminated soil

  • Dan Wan
  • Nichen Zhang
  • Wenli Chen
  • Peng Cai
  • Lirong Zheng
  • Qiaoyun HuangEmail author
Research Article


The bioavailability and potential uptake of heavy metals by crops is fundamentally influenced by the forms of metals in soils. Organic matter plays an important role in controlling the transformation of heavy metal fractionations in soils. However, long-term effects of organic matter on heavy metal speciation remains highly uncertain. In this study, rice straw was introduced to a subtropical Pb-contaminated soil for 2-year period so as to clarify the redistribution of Pb fractions and their correlations with soil properties. By combining sequential extraction and X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, we find that lead is predominantly presented in Fe oxide-bound, surface adsorbed, and residual fractions in the soil. The incorporation of rice straw can effectively reduce the labile species of Pb by promoting the binding of Pb to iron oxides. Furthermore, aging leads to the transfer of considerable amounts of Pb to the association with Fe oxides and this transformation is enhanced by the presence of organic matter. Organic matter input and soil aging tend to shift Pb to amorphous Fe oxides than crystalline Fe oxides. The correlation analysis shows that Fe oxide fractions play vital roles in controlling the forms of Pb in soil. This study presents the first result regarding the long-term effect of organic matter on the redistribution of Pb in naturally polluted soil, which is useful for understanding the fate of Pb and developing remediation strategies for Pb-polluted soils.


Pb fractionation XAFS Fe oxide-bound organic carbon Soil aging Organic matter Heavy metal 



The authors sincerely thank the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility and workers at beamline 1W1B. Data of several XAFS standard spectra were kindly provided by Dr. K. G. Scheckel from United States Environmental Protection Agency and Dr. L. P. Li from Henan University of Technology.


This work was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program (2017YFA0605001), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41230854), and NSFC–RS (Royal Society) joint project (No. 41611130184).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Agricultural MicrobiologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution RemediationHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institute of High Energy PhysicsChinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina

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