Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 16, pp 15336–15348 | Cite as

Effect of simulated acid rain on fluorine mobility and the bacterial community of phosphogypsum

  • Mei Wang
  • Ya Tang
  • Christopher W. N. Anderson
  • Paramsothy Jeyakumar
  • Jinyan Yang
Research Article


Contamination of soil and water with fluorine (F) leached from phosphogypsum (PG) stacks is a global environmental issue. Millions of tons of PG is produced each year as a by-product of fertilizer manufacture, and in China, weathering is exacerbated by acid rain. In this work, column leaching experiments using simulated acid rain were run to evaluate the mobility of F and the impact of weathering on native bacterial community composition in PG. After a simulated summer rainfall, 2.42–3.05 wt% of the total F content of PG was leached and the F concentration in leachate was above the quality standard for surface water and groundwater in China. Acid rain had no significant effect on the movement of F in PG. A higher concentration of F was observed at the bottom than the top section of PG columns suggesting mobility and reprecipitation of F. Throughout the simulation, the PG was environmentally safe according the TCLP testing. The dominant bacteria in PG were from the Enterococcus and Bacillus genus. Bacterial community composition in PG leached by simulated acid rain (pH 3.03) was more abundant than at pH 6.88. Information on F mobility and bacterial community in PG under conditions of simulated rain is relevant to management of environmental risk in stockpiled PG waste.


Acid rain Bacterial community Column leaching Fluorine Mobility Phosphogypsum 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Huimin Technology Research and Development Project of Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau of China (2015-HM01-00180-SF), the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities or “111 Project” of China (B08037), and the International Cooperation Projects of Sichuan Province of China (2015HH0023).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Wang
    • 1
  • Ya Tang
    • 1
  • Christopher W. N. Anderson
    • 2
  • Paramsothy Jeyakumar
    • 2
  • Jinyan Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Architecture and EnvironmentSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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