Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 221–235 | Cite as

Mobilization of heavy metals from contaminated paddy soil by EDDS, EDTA, and elemental sulfur

  • Guoqing Wang
  • Gerwin F. Koopmans
  • Jing Song
  • Erwin J. M. Temminghoff
  • Yongming Luo
  • Qiguo Zhao
  • Jan Japenga
Original Paper


For enhanced phytoextraction, mobilization of heavy metals (HMs) from the soil solid phase to soil pore water is an important process. A pot incubation experiment mimicking field conditions was conducted to investigate the performance of three soil additives in mobilizing HMs from contaminated paddy soil (Gleyi-Stagnic Anthrosol): the [S, S]-isomer of ethylenediamine disuccinate (EDDS) with application rates of 2.3, 4.3, and 11.8 mmol kg−1 of soil, ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA; 1.4, 3.8, and 7.5 mmol kg−1), and elemental sulfur (100, 200, and 400 mmol kg−1). Temporal changes in soil pore water HM and dissolved organic carbon concentrations and pH were monitored for a period of 119 days. EDDS was the most effective additive in mobilizing soil Cu. However, EDDS was only effective during the first 24 to 52 days, and was readily biodegraded with a half-life of 4.1 to 8.7 days. The effectiveness of EDDS decreased at the highest application rate, most probably as a result of depletion of the readily desorbable Cu pool in soil. EDTA increased the concentrations of Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd in the soil pore water, and remained effective during the whole incubation period due to its persistence. The highest rate of sulfur application led to a decrease in pH to around 4. This increased the pore water HM concentrations, especially those of Zn and Cd. Concentrations of HMs in the soil pore water can be regulated to a large extent by choosing the proper application rate of EDDS, EDTA, or sulfur. Hence, a preliminary work such as our pot experiment in combination with further plant experiments (not included in this study) will provide a good tool to evaluate the applicability of different soil additives for enhanced phytoextraction of a specific soil.


Biodegradation Chelators Dissolved organic carbon Enhanced phytoextraction Mobility Soil pore water 



This work was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China and Jiangsu province (project no. 40301046 and BK2004166), Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (project no. 2004CB720403 and 2002CB410809), and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (contract no. 04-PSA-E-05). Furthermore, the authors are thankful to Walter Schenkeveld for his critical comments on a previous version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guoqing Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerwin F. Koopmans
    • 3
  • Jing Song
    • 1
  • Erwin J. M. Temminghoff
    • 3
  • Yongming Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiguo Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jan Japenga
    • 4
  1. 1.Soil and Environment Bioremediation Research Centre, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingP.R. China
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  3. 3.Department of Soil QualityWageningen University, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)WageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Alterra, WURWageningenThe Netherlands

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