Transformation of heavy metal fractionation under changing environments: a case study of a drainage system in an e-waste dismantling community
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The change in environmental conditions during the transportation of contaminated soil and sediment was expected to affect the transformation of heavy metal fractionation. This study disclosed the serious contamination of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in the sewer sediment of an e-waste dismantling community in Thailand which may be caused by flushed contaminated soil and e-waste fragments. Two environmental conditions were simulated to observe the transformation of heavy metal fractionation. The anoxic sewer condition was induced using high substrate and sulfate in a closed container. The aeration of anoxic contaminated sediment was applied to simulate the transformation to an oxidative environment. The BCR sequential extraction was applied for heavy metal fractionation in this study. The study results exhibited that when heavy metal contaminated soil was transferred into this induced anoxic condition, fractionation was redistributed based on the chemical change of system that tends to be associated into F3 (oxidizable fraction) > F2 (reducible fraction) > F1 (acid soluble/exchangeable fraction). Cu exhibited the outstanding capability association to F3. The iron sulfide was not observed as usual due to its lower capability than Cu, Pb, and Zn. When contaminated sediment was transported to a more oxidative environment, the heavy metals fractionation would be redistributed again among those new environment media. It is noteworthy that F3 of Cu was stable even in oxic conditions. F2 of Fe was not developed by this oxic condition, possibly because its dehydration process was limited. The redistribution under an oxic environment became F1 > F2 > F3 indicating their more available form. This transformation was imperative and should be taken into account in heavy metal contaminated site management and control.
KeywordsSewer E-waste Heavy metal Fractionation Sediment Soil Transformation
The authors thank the Chulalongkorn Academic Advancement in its second century project and the S&T Postgraduate Education and Research Development Office (PERDO) for the financial support of the Research Program and thanks the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund, Chulalongkorn University for the Research Unit.
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