Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 5, pp 4221–4229 | Cite as

Effect of citric acid on metals mobility in pruning wastes and biosolids compost and metals uptake in Atriplex halimus and Rosmarinus officinalis

  • Y. Tapia
  • E. Eymar
  • A. Gárate
  • A. Masaguer


To assess metal mobility in pruning waste and biosolids compost (pH 6.9 and total concentration of metals in milligram per kilogram of Cd 1.9, Cu 132, Fe 8,513, Mn 192, Pb 81, and Zn 313), shrubs species Atriplex halimus and Rosmarinus officinalis were transplanted in this substrate and irrigated with citric acid (4 g L−1, pH 2.9) and nutrient solution daily for 60 days. Citric acid significantly increased the concentrations of soluble Mn and Fe in the nutrient substrate solution measured by suction probes, while other metals did not vary in concentration (Cu and Zn) or were not observed at detectable levels (Cd and Pb). In plants, citric acid significantly increased the concentrations of Cu (2.7 ± 0.1–3.3 ± 0.1 mg kg−1), Fe (49.2 ± 5.2–76.8 ± 6.8 mg kg−1), and Mn (7.2 ± 1.1–11.4 ± 0.7 mg kg−1) in leaves of R. officinalis, whereas the concentration of only Mn (25.4 ± 0.3–42.2 ± 2.9 mg kg−1) was increased in A. halimus. Increasing Fe and Mn solubility by citric acid addition indicates the possibility of using it to improve plant nutrition. The mobility of metals in this substrate was influenced for the concentration of the metal, the degree of humification of organic matter and its high Fe content.


Metal bioavailability Sequential extraction Suction probes Sewage sludge 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain (project 2005-06258-C02-02/TECNO CTM) and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI, scholarship MAE 2005–2007).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Química AgrícolaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Edafología, ETSIAUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain

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