Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 289–295 | Cite as

Coal fly ash and straw immobilize Cu, Cd and Zn from mining wasteland

  • Xingming Hu
  • Xinsong Yuan
  • Ling Dong
Original Paper


Soil heavy metal contamination is a major health issue. Chemical immobilization of toxic metals is a promising technique to solve this issue. In this study, soil was sampled from a copper mining-polluted area in eastern China. Coal fly ash and straw were applied to soil samples at 5 % w/w ratio and 2 % w/w ratio, and incubated for 6 weeks. The CaCl2-extractable Cu, Cd and Zn, phytoavailability and soil microbial activity were measured. The results showed that coal fly ash, straw and the mixture of coal fly ash and straw decreased CaCl2-extractable metals. Coal fly ash or the mixture of the two amendments are therefore efficient metal stabilizers.


Heavy metals Contamination Soil remediation Microbial activity 



This research was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of AnHui Education Bureau (No. KJ2013B213, KJ2013B210, KJ2012Z33) and National Training Programs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Undergraduates (201214098012).


  1. Adriano DC (2001) Trace elements in terrestrial environments, biogeochemistry, bioavailability, and risks of metals, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arias M, Barral MT, Mejuto JC (2002) Enhancement of copper and cadmium adsorption on kaolin by the presence of humic acids. Chemosphere 48:1081–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bååt E, Frostegård Å, Pennanen T, Fritze H (1995) Microbial community structure and pH response in relation to soil organic matter quality in wood-ash fertilized, clear-cut or burned coniferous soil. Soil Biol Biochem 27:229–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Basta NT, McGowen SL (2004) Evaluation of chemical immobilization treatments for reducing heavy metal transport in a smelter-contaminated soil. Environ Pollut 127:73–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Basta NT, Rayan JA, Chaney RL (2005) Trace element chemistry in residual-treated soil: key concepts and metal bioavailability. J Environ Qual 34:49–63Google Scholar
  6. Bleeker PM, Assuncao AGL, Teiga PM, de Koe T, Verkleij JAC (2002) Revegetation of the acidic, as contaminated Jales mine spoil tips using a combination of spoil amendments and tolerant grasses. Sci Total Environ 300:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brock EH, Ketterings QM, McBride M (2006) Copper and zinc accumulation in poultry and dairy manure-amended fields. Soil Sci 171:388–399Google Scholar
  8. Brown S, Sprenger M, Maxemchuk A, Compton H (2005) Ecosystem function in alluvial tailing after biosolids and lime addition. J Environ Qual 34:139–148Google Scholar
  9. Cornell RM, Schwertmann U (2003) The iron oxides: structure, properties, reactions, occurrences and uses, 2nd edn. Wiley-VCH, WeinheimCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fawzy EM (2008) Soil remediation using in situ immobilisation techniques. Chem Ecol 24:147–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Giller KE, Witter E, McGrath SP (1998) Toxicity of heavy metals to microorganisms and microbial processes in agricultural soils: a review. Soil Biol Biochem 30:1389–1414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gorman JM, Sencindiver JC, Horvath DJ, Singh RN, Keefer RF (2009) Erodibility of fly ash used as a topsoil substitute in mineland reclamation. J Environ Qual 29:805–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gregorich EG, Wen G, Voroney RP, Kachanoski RG (1990) Calibration of rapid direct chloroform extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil Biol Biochem 22:1009–1011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grey CW, Dunham SJ, Dennis PG, Zhao FJ, McGrath SP (2006) Field evaluation of in situ remediation of a heavy metal contaminated soil using lime and red-mud. Environ Pollut 142:530–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 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 396:89–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hu XM, Yuan XS, Wang LP, Hu PY, Zhang TS (2012) Effects of phosphate fertilizer and rice straw on soil heavy metals fractions, phytoavailability and microbial activity. Res Environ Sci 25:77–82 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Kumpiene J, Lagerkvist A, Maurice C (2007) Stabilization of Pb- and Cu-contaminated soil using coal fly ash and peat. Environ Pollut 145:365–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kumpiene J, Lagerkvist A, Maurice C (2008) Stabilization of As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn in soil using amendment—a review. Waste Manag 28:215–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee SH, Lee JS, Choi YJ, Kim JG (2009) In situ stabilization of cadmium-, lead-, and zinc-contaminated soil using various amendments. Chemosphere 77:1069–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liao M, Xie XM (2007) Effect of heavy metals on substrate utilization pattern, biomass, and activity of microbial communities in a reclaimed mining wasteland of red soil area. Ecotoxicol Environ Safe 66:217–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lombi E, Zhao FJ, Zhang G, Sun B, Fitz W, Zhang H, McGrath SP (2002) In situ fixation of metals in soils using bauxite residue: chemical assessment. Environ Pollut 118:435–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lu RK (1999) Analytical methods for soils and agricultural chemistry. China Agricultural Science and Technology Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  23. Madejón E, Madejón P, Burgos P, Pérez-de-Mora A, Cabrera F (2009) Trace elements, pH and organic matter evolution in contaminated soils under assisted natural remediation: a 4-year field study. J Hazard Mater 162:931–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Miranda-Trevino JC, Coles CA (2003) Kaolinite properties, structure and influence of metal retention on pH. Appl Clay Sci 23:133–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nissen LR, Lepp NW, Edwards R (2000) Synthetic zeolites as amendments for sewage sludge-based compost. Chemosphere 41:265–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pérez-de-Mora A, Ortega-Calvo JJ, Cabrera F, Madejón E (2005) Changes in enzyme activities and microbial biomass after “in situ” remediation of a heavy metal contaminated soil. Appl Soil Ecol 28:125–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Peters RW (1999) Chelant extraction of heavy metals from contaminated soils. J Hazard Mater 66:151–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tejada M, Hernandez MT, Garcia C (2006) Application of two organic amendments on soil restoration: effects on the biological properties. J Environ Qual 35:1010–1017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ure AM, Quevauviller PH, Muntau H, Griepink B (1993) Speciation of heavy metals in soils and sediments an account of the improvement and harmonisation of extraction techniques undertaken under the auspices of the BCR of the Commission of the European Communities. Int J Environ Anal Chem 51:135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wasay SA, Barrington SF, Tokunaga S (2001) Organic acids for the in situ remediation of soils polluted by metals: sorl flushing in columns. Water Air Soil Poll 127:301–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Xia WB, Gao H, Wang XH, Zhou CH, Liu YG, Fan T, Wang X (2009) Application of EDTA decontamination on soils affected by mining activities and impact of treatment on the geochemical partition of metal contaminants. J Hazard Mater 164:936–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHefei Normal UniversityHefeiChina

Personalised recommendations