Environmental Geology

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 685–690 | Cite as

Competitive sorption of intermixed heavy metals in water repellent soil in Southern Australia

  • P. J. Li
  • F. Stagnitti
  • X. XiongEmail author
  • P. Li
Original Article


In water repellent soil, Cr, Pb and Cu showed higher adsorption intensities than Zn, Cd and Ni did. Soil water repellency is much more widespread than formerly thought. In order to promote fertility and productivity, the irrigation of recycled water onto water repellent soil may be an applied technology to be used in some areas of Southern Australia. Therefore, heavy metals in recycled water potentially enter into the soil. The competitive sorption and retention capacity of heavy metals in soil are important to be determined, especially considering the special geochemical origin of water repellent soil that was caused by waxes on or between the soil particles. Batch equilibrium sorption experiments on Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in their typical proportion in recycled water were conducted in water repellent soil. The sorption intensity, sorption isotherm in the experiments together showed that Cr, Pb and Cu have higher sorption intensity than those of Zn, Ni and Cd in the competitive system. The risk assessment for the application of recycled water onto water repellent soil is definitely necessary, especially for the metal cations with relatively weak sorption.


Water repellent soil Heavy metal Competitive sorption Recycled water Adsorption equation Australia 



The research was supported by the Australian Research Council Large Grant Schemes # A10014154 and A89701825, EU Project FAIR contract number CT98-4027, partly supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program 2004CB418506)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pollution Ecology, Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina
  2. 2.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  3. 3.Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of MatterThe Chinese Academy SciencesFuzhouChina
  4. 4.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina

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