Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 26, pp 27330–27337 | Cite as

Effect of humic acid on the stabilization of cadmium in soil by coprecipitating with ferrihydrite

  • Miaomiao Xu
  • Zhuanjun ZhaoEmail author
  • Miao Shi
  • Liwei Yao
  • Tianfeng Fan
  • Zemin Wang
Research Article


Coprecipitation of humic acid (HA) with ferrihydrite (Fh) has been proposed to reduce the activity of heavy metals in aqueous solutions. The effect of the amount of HA added to the coprecipitates on the stabilization of Cd in soil is unclear. In this research, five different Fh-HA coprecipitates were synthesized to study the impact of different HA additions on the fractionation of Cd in the soil and the optimal addition ratio of C/Fe. Characterization technique as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT–IR), X–ray diffraction (XRD), specific surface area analyzer, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used in order to test and analyze of the microstructure and physicochemical property of the coprecipitates. The results showed that the Fh-HA coprecipitate is mainly combined by the coordination exchange of –OH on the surface of the Fh with the carboxyl group of the HA. Adding HA could stabilize Fh and increase its surface roughness. Changes in the fractionation of the Cd were used to evaluate the stabilization effect of the coprecipitate. Before treatment, Cd in different contaminated soils was existed only a small amount of residual fraction. After the addition of the Fh-HA coprecipitate, the proportion of residual Cd in each contaminated soil increased. When the C/Fe ratio was 1.5, the maximum residual fraction were 62.94%, 55.67%, and 52.99% respectively. Residual Cd could remain relatively stable indicating that the Fh-HA coprecipitate is a promising amendment for repairing Cd-contaminated soil. The addition of HA has strengthened the active role of Fh on stabilizing heavy metals.


Ferrihydrite Humic acid Cd Coprecipitate Stabilization Fractionation 



This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 41771341).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miaomiao Xu
    • 1
  • Zhuanjun Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miao Shi
    • 1
  • Liwei Yao
    • 1
  • Tianfeng Fan
    • 1
  • Zemin Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental System (Ministry of Education) and Key Laboratory for Environmental Pollution Prediction and Control, Gansu Province, College of Earth and Environmental SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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