Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 741–749 | Cite as

Reduction of Pb availability during surficial leaching in different types of soils with addition of apatite and oxalic acid

  • Chenmeng Guo
  • Weitao Tian
  • Zhijun Wang
  • Feiyu Han
  • Mu Su
  • Yiling Wu
  • Zhen LiEmail author
  • Shuijin Hu
Soils, Sec 2 • Global Change, Environ Risk Assess, Sustainable Land Use • Research Article



Pb contamination in soil is of great environmental concern due to its high exposure to human, especially on surface soil. However, the study regarding effect of Pb leaching on its remediation in different soils is still scanty.

Materials and methods

Red soil (RS, acidic), sandy soil (SS, alkaline), and yellow-brown soil (CS, neutral) were collected in this study. Bioapatite (BAp) and fluorapatite (FAp) were applied as P source to remediate Pb contamination. In addition, oxalic acid was added to enhance the solubility of apatite and hence the immobilization of Pb(II). Techniques of ICP, SEM-EDX, and XRD were utilized to investigate the concentration, distribution, and mineralization of Pb.

Results and discussion

Addition of BAp, in contrast to FAp, significantly reduced available Pb concentrations in soil. However, the remediation is not successful in the middle and bottom layers. This is correlated with the Pb leaching and relatively low solubility of BAp. The combination of oxalic acid and BAp dramatically reduced available Pb concentrations (80–99%) in all soil layers, primarily due to the enhanced P release from BAp by acid addition. Moreover, difference of available Pb concentrations (between top and bottom layers) in RS was 126 mg/kg, which is significantly higher than those for CS (5 mg/kg) and SS (21 mg/kg). Then, available Pb concentration in RS could be over ten times of that in CS, suggesting that Pb leaching is one of the negative factors influencing effects of remediation. Furthermore, the aggregation of Pb and salt-induced Pb mineralization in SS were confirmed by SEM-EDX and XRD analyses.


Rates of Pb leaching follow the order of RS > SS > CS. The effects of remediation on Pb availability can be reduced by Pb leaching, especially in RS. The effect of remediation in SS is also limited due to its alkalinity and salt coupling effect. In consequence, CS is the most suitable soil type for remediation via combination of BAp and oxalic acid. This study elucidates the critical leaching effects of Pb on remediation of surface soil.


Bioapatite Leaching Oxalic acid Pb Remediation 


Funding information

This work was partially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (No. BK20150683), National Program on Key Basic Research Project (No. 2015CB150504), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M610330), SRT (1713C30 and 1713C29) at NJAU, and Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PPZY2015A061). We also thank the data support from National Earth System Science Data Sharing Infrastructure, National Science & Technology Infrastructure of China (


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and Environmental SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Lab for Organic Solid Waste UtilizationNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Entomology & Plant PathologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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