Effects of Phosphorus Modified Bio-char on Metals in Uranium-Containing Soil

Abstract

The level of radioactivity in the soil has been increasing unpredictably due to the human uranium mining exploitation of uranium over the past 100 years. Remediation of metals in actual soil confronts many challenges, remaining poorly understood. This study intends to investigate the concentrations and distributions of U, Cd, Zn, Pb, and Cu in soils surrounded by a uranium mill tailing pond. Furthermore, a phosphorus-modified bio-char was prepared in order to determine its role in immobilizing uranium in soil samples. Results show that the contents of U and Pb are much higher than that of the background values, due to the influence of the uranium mill tailing pond. Phosphorus can enhance the immobilization efficiency of U, Cd, Pb, and Cu in soil samples. The concentration of uranium in the leaching supernatant of phosphorus-modified bio-char group is lower than that of control and unmodified bio-char groups due to the fact that the biosorption occurred in the exterior surface of the biomass, which imply that phosphorus-modified bio-char is a potential immobilization material to reduce the leaching rate of metals. These findings can provide references for remediation technology of metals in natural soil.

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Acknowledgments

Authors appreciate the valuable comments from K. Mumford and anonymous reviewers.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 11605087), China scholarship council (grant number 20170830225), China’s Post-doctoral Science Fund (grant number 2017M610500), and the double first class cinstruct program of USC (grant number 2017SYL05).

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Correspondence to Wen-fa Tan.

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Tan, W., Wang, Y., Ding, L. et al. Effects of Phosphorus Modified Bio-char on Metals in Uranium-Containing Soil. Water Air Soil Pollut 230, 35 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-018-4074-9

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Keywords

  • Uranium mill tailings
  • Uranium
  • Heavy metals
  • Phosphorus modified bio-char
  • Immobilization