Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 14, pp 10861–10872 | Cite as

Competitive sorption and desorption of trace elements by Tunisian Aridisols Calcorthids

  • Hamdi SahraouiEmail author
  • María Luisa Andrade
  • Mohamed Hachicha
  • Flora Alonso Vega
Research Article


The sorption and retention processes play an important role in determining the bioavaibility and fate of trace elements in soils. Sorption and desorption of Pb2+, Zn2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, and Co2+ in three Tunisian Aridisols Calcorthids (AR1, AR2, and AR3) were studied using batch experiments. Sorption and retention capacities were determined by means of K r parameter and they were related to soil properties. The results showed that in all studied soils, K r values for Pb2+ and Cu2+ were higher than those of Zn2+, Ni2+, and Co2+ indicating that soils have higher affinity for the first ones. The high sorption and retention capacity of the three studied soils is ascribed to their alkaline pH and their high carbonates contents favoring the precipitation of these elements. Moreover, bivariate correlation analysis showed that sorption and retention of the studied cations was also strongly correlated with clay fraction and Fe oxides contents. All soils show high sorption irreversibility of Pb2+, Zn2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, and Co2+. The soils with highest sorption capacity show also the highest irreversibility.


Competitive sorption/retention Trace elements Aridisol Sorption capacity Selective sequences Hysteresis 



This work was supported by the research project: A/029394/09. Interuniversity Cooperation Program and Scientific Research between Spain and Mediterranean countries (Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation). We also thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for the research foundlings (Project CGL2010-16765/BTE).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamdi Sahraoui
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • María Luisa Andrade
    • 1
  • Mohamed Hachicha
    • 2
  • Flora Alonso Vega
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioloxía Vexetal e Ciencia do Solo, Facultade de BioloxíaUniversidade de Vigo, LagoasPontevedraSpain
  2. 2.Institut National de Recherche en Génie Rural Eaux et Forêts, Université de CarthageTunisTunisia

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