The effect of simulated acid rain on the stabilization of cadmium in contaminated agricultural soils treated with stabilizing agents

Research Article
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Abstract

Stabilization technology is one of widely used remediation technologies for cadmium (Cd)-contaminated agricultural soils, but stabilized Cd in soil may be activated again when external conditions such as acid rain occurred. Therefore, it is necessary to study the effect of acid rain on the performance of different stabilizing agents on Cd-polluted agriculture soils. In this study, Cd-contaminated soils were treated with mono-calcium phosphate (MCP), mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP), and artificial zeolite (AZ) respectively and incubated 3 months. These treatments were followed by two types of simulated acid rain (sulfuric acid rain and mixed acid rain) with three levels of acidity (pH = 3.0, 4.0, and 5.6). The chemical forms of Cd in the soils were determined by Tessier’s sequential extraction procedure, and the leaching toxicities of Cd in the soils were assessed by toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). The results show that the three stabilizing agents could decrease the mobility of Cd in soil to some degree with or without simulated acid rain (SAR) treatment. The stabilization performances followed the order of AZ < MAP < MCP. Acid rain soaking promoted the activation of Cd in stabilized soil, and both anion composition and pH of acid rain were two important factors that influenced the stabilization effect of Cd.

Keywords

Stabilization Acid rain pH Anion composition Chemical form Leachability 

Abbreviations

Cd

Cadmium

NOx

Nitrogen oxides

SAR

Simulated acid rain

SSAR

Simulated sulfuric acid rain

SMAR

Simulated mixed acid rain

SOM

Soil organic matter

CCE

Calcium carbonate equivalent

CEC

Cation exchange capacity

MCP

Mono-calcium phosphate

MAP

Mono-ammonium phosphate

AZ

Artificial zeolite

CK

Controls

TCLP

Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure

US EPA

United States Environmental Protection Agency

LSD

Least significant difference

CdEx

Exchangeable Cd

CdCar

Cd bound to carbonates

CdFeOx + MnOy

Cd bound to iron and manganese oxides

CdOM

Cd bound to organic matter

CdRes

Residual Cd

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded, in part, by a project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 41001315) and the Fundamental Research Funds for Chongqing City (Grant no. 2014cstc-jbky-01602, 2015cstc-jcyj-01601). The authors are very grateful to Professor Budiman Minasny of the University of Sydney for their comments to this manuscript. We also extend great appreciation to three anonymous reviewers and the editor of Environmental Science and Pollution Research for their helpful comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We are the authors of the manuscript entitled “The effect of simulated acid rain on the stabilization of cadmium in contaminated agricultural soils treated with stabilizing agents”, and declared no conflict of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Resources and EnvironmentNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Agricultural MeteorologyNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Chongqing Research Academy of Environmental SciencesChongqingChina
  4. 4.Taicang Soil and Fertilizer StationTaicangChina

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