Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 3501–3516 | Cite as

Assessment of sediment capping with zirconium-modified bentonite to intercept phosphorus release from sediments

  • Jianwei LinEmail author
  • Siqi He
  • Yanhui Zhan
  • Zhe Zhang
  • Xiaolong Wu
  • Yang Yu
  • Yuying Zhao
  • Yan Wang
Research Article


Three different types of zirconium-modified bentonites (ZrMBs) including zirconium-modified original bentonite (ZrMOB), zirconium-modified magnesium-pretreated bentonite (ZrMMgB), and zirconium-modified calcium-pretreated bentonite (ZrMCaB) were synthesized and used as active covering materials to suppress the release of phosphorus (P) from sediments. To assess the covering efficiency of ZrMBs to inhibit P release from sediments, we examined the impact of ZrMB covering layer on P mobilization in sediments at different depths as well as the release of P through the interface between sediment and overlying water (SWI) by use of simulating P release control experiments and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technology. The results showed that the amount of soluble reactive P (SRP) in the overlying water greatly decreased after covering with ZrMBs. Moreover, both pore water SRP and DGT-liable P (DGT-P) in the top sediments decreased after capping with ZrMBs. An obvious stratification of DGT-P was observed along the vertical direction after covering with ZrMBs, and static and active layers were found in the top sediment and in the lower sediment directly below the static layer, respectively. Furthermore, ZrMB covering led to the change of P species from easily released P to relatively or very stable P, making P in the top sediment more stable compared to that without ZrMB covering. Besides, an overwhelming majority of P immobilized by ZrMBs is hard to be re-released into the water column in a common environment. Overall, the above results demonstrate that sediment covering with ZrMBs could effectively prevent the transport of SRP from sediments into the overlying water through the SWI, and the control of P transport into the overlying water by ZrMB covering could be mostly due to the immobilization of pore water SRP, DGT-P, and mobile P in the top sediment by ZrMBs.


Zirconium-modified bentonite Sediment Phosphorus release control Covering Diffusive gradients in thin films 



This research was jointly supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 50908142 and No. 51408354), Easysensor® scholar funding program, Shanghai Natural Science Foundation (No. 15ZR1420700), Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (No. 10230502900), and Shandong Key Scientific and Technical Innovation Project (No. 2018YFJH0902).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3869_MOESM1_ESM.docx (137 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 137 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianwei Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Siqi He
    • 1
  • Yanhui Zhan
    • 1
  • Zhe Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiaolong Wu
    • 1
  • Yang Yu
    • 1
  • Yuying Zhao
    • 1
  • Yan Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Marine Ecology and EnvironmentShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina

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