Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1558–1568 | Cite as

Application of sorbents in different soil types from small arms shooting ranges for immobilization of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and antimony (Sb)

  • Espen MariussenEmail author
  • Ida Vaa Johnsen
  • Arnljot Einride Strømseng
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Soil contamination of ammunition residues at shooting ranges for small arms may be followed by leaching of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and antimony (Sb). Mixing stabilizing agents into the soil may reduce the mobility of the contaminants. To avoid risk of unexpected effects of a stabilizing agent in large-scale measures, the effect of an amendment should be tested on a small scale in advance. Two different amendments, ferric oxyhydroxide powder (CFH-12 from a commercial provider) and zerovalent iron (powder or grit), were mixed into different soil types in order to test their generic effects as stabilizing agents in contaminated soil from shooting ranges. Factors that were considered for their effects were soil water pH, limestone addition, soil chemical composition, and content of organic matter.

Materials and methods

The stabilizing agents (2–4% weight basis) were mixed into four different soil types contaminated with ammunition residues. The effects of the amendments were elucidated in two column experiments, one small-scale and one larger-scale experiment. Leaching of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Sb from the soil mixed with stabilizing agents was compared with reference soil with no amendments added.

Results and discussion

Best performance was achieved on leaching of Sb irrespective of the type of iron amendment and soil type. The Sb concentrations in the soil leachates were 55–94% less than in the leachates from the reference soils. Both amendments mixed into an acidic soil reduced the Pb, Cu, and Zn concentrations in the soil leachates in the range of 79–99%. The ability of the amendment to reduce leaching of Pb, Cu, and Zn from the other soil types was highly dependent on soil pH. CFH-12 was acidic and pH had to be balanced with limestone. The general trend was that the iron amendments reduced leaching of the elements in the order Sb>>Cu > Pb ≥ Zn.


Iron amendment may be suitable as stabilizing agents for Pb, Cu, Zn, and Sb in soil. The soil pH appeared to be the most important factor governing the mobility of the ammunition residues in the soils. Overall, best effect was achieved with zerovalent iron, which can be purchased at low cost and appeared to have minor influence on the properties of the soils.


Antimony Heavy metals Iron oxyhydroxide Soil amendments Soil stabilization Zerovalent iron 



Dr. Gudny Okkenhaug from NGI, Norway, kindly provided the CFH-12 Fe oxyhydroxide powder and the limestone used in the study. MSc Elisabeth Elje from FFI helped in preparing and sampling in the lysimeter-2 experiment. The authors also wish to acknowledge Dr. Gudny Okkenhaug and MSc Helga Lassen Bue from NGI for helping in preparing the columns in the lysimeter-2 experiment.

Funding information

This study received funding from The Norwegian Defence Estates Agency (Project nr. 108901 and 360301).

Supplementary material

11368_2017_1875_MOESM1_ESM.doc (680 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 679 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)KjellerNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)KjellerNorway
  3. 3.The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)OsloNorway

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