Amendments affect lead mobility and modulated chemo-speciation under different moisture regimes in normal and salt-affected lead-contaminated soils

  • M. M. Iqbal
  • G. Murtaza
  • T. Naz
  • J. Akhtar
  • M. Afzal
  • E. Meers
  • G. D. Laing
Original Paper


The total lead content in the soil itself is insufficient as a measure to indicate the actual environmental risks related to the presence of lead in the soil. Understanding the mobility of lead and its chemical speciation in soil solution is of great importance for accurately assessing environmental risks posed by lead. Therefore, a laboratory study was carried out to evaluate the effect of inorganic amendments (gypsum, rock phosphate and di-ammonium phosphate) on lead mobility and chemical speciation under different moisture regimes (flooding regime and 75 % field capacity) in normal and salt-affected lead-contaminated soils. After 2, 7, 15, 30, 100 and 110 days of incubation, pore water samples were collected by using Rhizon soil moisture samplers. In order to estimate the chemical speciation of lead in pore water, Visual MINTEQ 3.0 modeling approach was used. The results showed that presence of free Pb2+, PbCl+, Pb(SO4) 2 2− , and PbH2PO4 + was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) affected by the soil moisture regime, incubation time and applied amendments in lead-contaminated soils. The Visual MINTEQ 3.0 predicted free Pb2+ species concentration was found higher in lead-contaminated soils, while PbCl+ was more pronounced in salt-affected soils. Gypsum increased the occurrence of Pb(SO4) 2 2− , while di-ammonium phosphate and rock phosphate enhanced the PbH2PO4 + species formation and decreased free Pb2+ species in pore water. Thus, gypsum is the most effective in reducing lead and free Pb2+ species concentrations in the pore water under different soil moisture regimes and incubation times in normal and salt-affected lead-contaminated soils.


Inorganic amendments Lead immobilization Chemical speciation Visual MINTEQ Flooding regime Field capacity Incubation time 



The first author is highly thankful to Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for providing funds for International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) at Ghent University, Belgium (Grant No. 1-8/HEC/HRD/2012/2531). He is also very grateful to Ria Van Hulle (Head, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Ecochemistry), Roseline Blanckaert, David Lybaert, Katty Sabo and Joachim Neri (Lab. Technicians), for their help in research and analytical activities and technical support to complete this experiment.

Supplementary material

13762_2016_1126_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (242 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 242 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Government of PunjabSoil and Water Testing LaboratoryChiniotPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Ecochemistry, Department of Applied Analytical and Physical ChemistryGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University College of AgricultureUniversity of SargodhaSargodhaPakistan
  5. 5.Saline Agriculture Research CentreUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  6. 6.Department of Agricultural EntomologyUniversity of SargodhaSargodhaPakistan

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