Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1610–1619 | Cite as

Arsenic immobilization in soil using starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles: a case study in treatment of a chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-contaminated soil at lab scale

  • Yassaman Babaee
  • Catherine N. Mulligan
  • Md. Saifur Rahaman
Soils, Sec 4 • Ecotoxicology • Research Article



The present study investigates the possible use and effectiveness of starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles for in situ immobilization of arsenic in contaminated soils.

Materials and methods

For this purpose, 0.04 wt.% starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles were synthesized and tested through batch and column tests for the immobilization of arsenic in a loamy soil contaminated by chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

Results and discussion

When the CCA-contaminated loamy soil was treated with 0.4 g/L of starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles (0.04 wt.%) at a soil-to-liquid ratio of 0.1, water-leachable arsenic was reduced by 92% and the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) leachability was reduced by 98%. Column elution experiments showed that through application of starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles to CCA-contaminated soil, nearly all water-soluble arsenic was transferred to the nanoparticle phase. The TCLP leachability of arsenic remaining in the soil column was reduced by 70% due to the immobilization of arsenic by nanoparticles.


In addition to an extremely high arsenic sorption capacity, starch-stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles exhibited excellent mobility in the soil environment. Both the high sorption capacity and the excellent mobility in the soil environment suggest potential for application of these nanoparticles to the contaminated soil for potential in situ arsenic immobilization.


Arsenic Immobilization Soil Stabilized Fe/Cu nanoparticles 

Supplementary material

11368_2017_1882_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BuildingCivil and Environmental Engineering-Concordia UniversityQuebecCanada

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