Enhanced stabilization of Pb, Zn, and Cd in contaminated soils using oxalic acid-activated phosphate rocks
Phosphate amendments, especially phosphate rock (PR), are one of the most commonly used materials to stabilize heavy metals in contaminated soils. However, most of PR reserve consists of low-grade ore, which limits the efficiency of PR for stabilizing heavy metals. This study was to enhance the stabilization of heavy metals through improving the available phosphorous (P) release of PR by oxalic acid activation. Raw PR and activated PR (APR) were characterized by scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface analysis, and laser diffraction to determine the changes of structure and composition of APR. The stabilization effectiveness of lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), and cadmium (Cd) in soils by APR was investigated through toxicity leaching test and speciation analysis. The results indicated that after treatment by oxalic acid, (1) the crystallinity of the fluorapatite phase of PR transformed into the weddellite phase; (2) the surface area of PR increased by 37%; (3) the particle size of PR became homogenized (20–70 μm); and (4) the available P content in PR increased by 22 times. These changes of physicochemical characteristics of PR induced that APR was more effective to transform soil heavy metals from the non-residual fraction to the residual fraction and enhance the stabilization efficiency of Pb, Zn, and Cd than PR. These results are significant for the future use of low-grade PR to stabilize heavy metals.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0664-0
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