USE OF SEQUENTIAL EXTRACTION IN THE STUDY OF HEAVY METAL RETENTION BY SILTY SOILS

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Abstract

This study focused on the capability of two silty soils (tills) having low clay contents and CEC to retain and release two heavy metals, Pb and Cu. Samples of two non contaminated till deposits from the Eastern Townships region of Quebec, Canada, were artificially contaminated with concentrated solutions of these heavy metals. The latter were later extracted from the various geochemical phases of the soils by using the sequential extraction procedure. The results show that silty soils may have a relatively high heavy metal retention capacity due to the presence of carbonate and that this retention capacity can be comparable in magnitude to the retention capacity of certain clayey soils. This is particularly positive in the context of municipal waste disposal (landfills) in Quebec, where some old sanitary landfill sites are underlain by till deposits. A high buffering capacity is not as desirable in the case a deposit needs to undergo remediation.

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