Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Assessment of the Remediation Effect of Nano-hydroxyapatite in Exogenous Pb-contaminated Soil Using Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure and Soil Enzyme Activities


Lead (Pb) is one of the most abundant metal soil pollutants. In this research, effects of nano-hydroxyapatite (NHAP) on remediation of Pb-contaminated soil were evaluated by the measure of extractable Pb using toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and soil enzyme activities. Results suggested NHAP significantly decreased the concentrations of extractable Pb, achieving the maximum decrement rate of 75.71%. Activity of urease decreased with increasing Pb concentrations. Moreover, activities of alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase, and catalase increased at the lower Pb levels and decreased at the higher Pb levels. NHAP had a positive effect on regulating soil enzymes. Thus, soil enzyme activities, especially dehydrogenase, could be used as biological indicators of Pb pollution and NHAP remediation. Moreover, NHAP could reduce the mobility and bioavailability of Pb, while increasing enzyme activities, thereby lowering the leaching risk and biotoxicity of Pb.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. Asgari EA, Moradi AM, Ehteshami F, Jamili S, Rabbani M (2015) Seasonal variation of catalase enzyme and heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Ni) in Pinctada radiata in Persian Gulf, Iran. Int J Biosci 6:146–155

  2. Bowles TM, Acosta-Martínez V, Calderón F, Jackson LE (2014) Soil enzyme activities, microbial communities, and carbon and nitrogen availability in organic agroecosystems across an intensively-managed agricultural landscape. Soil Biol Biochem 68:252–262

  3. Brookes PC (1995) The use of microbial parameters in monitoring soil pollution by heavy metals. Biol Fert Soils 19:269–279

  4. Burns RG, Deforest JL, Marxsen J, Sinsabaugh RL, Stromberger ME, Wallenstein MD, Weintraub MN, Zoppini A (2013) Soil enzymes in a changing environment: Current knowledge and future directions. Soil Biol Biochem 58:216–234

  5. Cang L, Zhou DM, Wang QY, Wu DY (2009) Effects of electrokinetic treatment of a heavy metal contaminated soil on soil enzyme activities. J Hazard Mater 172:1602–1607

  6. Cui H, Zhou J, Zhao Q, Si Y, Mao J, Fang G, Liang J (2013) Fractions of Cu, Cd, and enzyme activities in a contaminated soil as affected by applications of micro- and nanohydroxyapatite. J Soils Sediments 13:742–752

  7. Ding L, Li JB, Liu W, Zuo QQ, Liang SX (2017) Influence of nano-hydroxyapatite on the metal bioavailability, plant metal accumulation and root exudates of ryegrass for phytoremediation in lead-polluted soil. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14(5):532

  8. Feng S, Wang X, Wei G, Peng P, Yang Y, Cao Z (2007) Leachates of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash from Macao: Heavy metal concentrations and genotoxicity. Chemosphere 67:1133–1137

  9. Gao Y, Zhou P, Mao L, Zhi Y, Zhang C, Shi W (2010) Effects of plant species coexistence on soil enzyme activities and soil. J Environ Sci 22:1040–1048

  10. Guo G, Zhou Q, Ma LQ (2006) Availability and assessment of fixing additives for the in situ remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils: A review. Environ Monit Assess 116:513–528

  11. He M, Shi H, Zhao XY, Yu Y, Qu B (2013) Immobilization of Pb and Cd in contaminated soil using nano-crystallite hydroxyapatite. Procedia Environ Sci 18:657–665

  12. Hinojosa MB, Carreira JA, García-Ruíz R, Dick RP (2004) Soil moisture pre-treatment effects on enzyme activities as indicators of heavy metal-contaminated and reclaimed soils. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1559–1568

  13. Hinojosa MB, Carreira JA, Rodríguez-Maroto JM, García-Ruíz R (2008) Effects of pyrite sludge pollution on soil enzyme activities: Ecological dose–response model. Sci Total Environ 396:89–99

  14. Jimenez M, Horra AM, Pruzzo L, Palma RM (2002) Soil quality: A new index based on microbiological and biochemical parameters. Biol Fertil Soils 35:302–306

  15. Jin Y, Liu W, Li XL, Shen SG, Liang SX, Liu CQ, Shan LY (2016) Nano-hydroxyapatite immobilized lead and enhanced plant growth of ryegrass in a contaminated soil. Ecol Eng 95:25–29

  16. Lee I, Kim OK, Chang Y, Bae B, Kim HH, Baek KH (2002) Heavy metal concentrations and enzymatic activities in soil from contaminated Korean shooting range. J Biosci Bioeng 94:406–411

  17. Lee SH, Kim EY, Hyun S, Kim JG (2009) Metal availability in heavy metal-contaminated open burning and open detonation soil: Assessment using soil enzymes, earthworms, and chemical extractions. J Hazard Mater 170:382–388

  18. Malley C, Nair J, Ho G (2006) Impact of heavy metals on enzymatic activity of substrate and on composting worms Eiseniafetida. Biores Technol 97:1498–1502

  19. Mikanova O (2006) Effects of heavy metals on some soil biological parameters. J Geochem Explor 88:220–223

  20. Ofoegbu CJ, Akubugwo EI, Dike CC, Maduka HCC, Ugwu CE, Obasi NA (2013) Effects of heavy metals on soil enzymatic activities in the Ishiagu mining area of Ebonyi State-Nigeria. IOSR J Environ Sci Toxicol Food Technol 5(6):66–71

  21. Shaheen SM, Rinklebe J (2015) Impact of emerging and low cost alternative amendments on the (im)mobilization and phytoavailability of Cd and Pb in a contaminated floodplain soil. Ecol Eng 74:319–326

  22. Sivakumar S, Prabha D, Barathi S, Nityanandi D, Subbhuraam CV, Lakshmipriya T, Kamala-Kannan S, Jang SH, Yi PI (2015) The influence of the earthworm Lampitomauritii (Kinberg) on the activity of selected soil enzymes in cadmium-amended soil. Environ Monit Assess 187:1–8

  23. Šmejkalová M, Mikanová O, Borǖvka L (2003) Effects of heavy metal concentrations on biological activity of soil micro-organisms. Plant Soil Environ 49:321–326

  24. Yan JL, Quan GX, Ding C (2013) Effects of the combined pollution of lead and cadmium on soil urease activity and nitrification. Procedia Environ Sci 18:78–83

  25. Yang X, Liu J, McGrouther K, Huang H, Lu KP, Guo X, He LZ, Lin XM, Che L, Ye ZQ, Wang HL (2016) Effect of biochar on the extractability of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) and enzyme activity in soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:974–984

  26. Yu X, Wang M, Chen W (2015) Quantitative assessment on soil enzyme activities of heavy metal contaminated soils with various soil properties. Chemosphere 18:604–608

  27. Zhang Z, Li M, Chen W, Zhu SZ, Liu NN, Zhu LY (2009) Immobilization of lead and cadmium from aqueous solution and contaminated sediment using nano-hydroxyapatite. Environ Pollut 158:514–519

Download references


This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (B2018201283) and the Hebei Provincial Science and Technology Project (17273607D).

Author information

Correspondence to Shu-xuan Liang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liang, S., Ding, L., Shen, S. et al. Assessment of the Remediation Effect of Nano-hydroxyapatite in Exogenous Pb-contaminated Soil Using Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure and Soil Enzyme Activities. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 101, 250–256 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-018-2390-9

Download citation


  • Metal
  • Extractable Pb
  • TCLP
  • NHAP