Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 2948–2959 | Cite as

Influence of organic and inorganic passivators on Cd and Pb stabilization and microbial biomass in a contaminated paddy soil

  • Saqib Bashir
  • Muhammad Shaaban
  • Qaiser Hussain
  • Sajid Mehmood
  • Jun Zhu
  • Qingling Fu
  • Omar Aziz
  • Hongqing HuEmail author
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Soil contamination with heavy metals, such as Cd and Pb, has caused severe health and environmental risks all over the world. Possible eco-friendly solutions for Cd and Pb immobilization were required to reduce its mobility through various cost-effective amendments.

Materials and methods

A laboratory incubation study was conducted to assess the efficiency of biochar (BC), zeolite (ZE), and rock phosphate (RP) as passivators for the stabilization of Cd and Pb in paddy soil as well as soil microbial biomass. Various extraction techniques were carried out: a sequential extraction procedure, the European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR), toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test, and single extraction with CaCl2. The impact of passivators on soil pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and microbial biomass (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) was examined in the metal contaminated soil.

Results and discussion

The results showed that the exchangeable portion of Cd in soil was significantly reduced by 34.8, 21.6, and 18.8% with ZE, RP, and BC at a 3% application rate, respectively. A similar tendency of reduction in Pb soluble portion was observed by ZE (9.6%), RP (20%), and BC (21.4%) at a 3% application rate. Moreover, the TCLP leachate of Cd and Pb was apparently reduced by 17 and 30.3% with BC at a 3% application dose, respectively, when compared to the control. Soil pH, nutrients, and microbial biomass C, N, and P were significantly increased with the addition of BC, RP, and ZE passivators.


The results showed that the incorporation of BC, ZE, and RP significantly reduced the Cd and Pb mobility in paddy soil as well as enhanced soil nutrients and microbial biomass. Overall, among all the amendments, rice straw derived-BC performed better for Cd and Pb immobilization in paddy soil.


Biochar Heavy metals Immobilization Microbial biomass Rock phosphate Zeolite 


Funding information

The study was financially supported by National Science and Technology Support Plan of China (2015BAD05B02).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saqib Bashir
    • 1
  • Muhammad Shaaban
    • 1
  • Qaiser Hussain
    • 2
  • Sajid Mehmood
    • 1
  • Jun Zhu
    • 1
  • Qingling Fu
    • 1
  • Omar Aziz
    • 1
  • Hongqing Hu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtse River), Ministry of Agriculture, College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Soil Science & SWCPMAS-Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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