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Decontamination of soils by activation with acids and bases

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dc.contributor.advisor Fey MV, Prof en
dc.contributor.advisor Ellis F, Dr en
dc.contributor.author Hardie AG en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T08:35:34Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T08:35:34Z
dc.date.submitted 2004 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/32419
dc.description.abstract New, more receptive surfaces can be generated in soils by a partial dissolution of existing, crystalline solids followed by re-precipitation as poorly crystalline colloids with a larger capacity to adsorb ionic and molecular contaminants. This priming process can be carried out by treating the soil with strong acid or base and then neutralising it again. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of acid and base treatments in reducing inorganic contaminant availability in different soil types.<br><br> The first study involved investigating the change in cation (cadmium[II], copper[II]) and anion (phosphate) sorption of four different soils before and after priming. Hydrochloric acid and KOH were used to adjust the pH of soils to below pH 2 or above pH 12 in the dissolution stage of the priming treatment. After neutralisation it was found that base priming resulted in an increase in metal cation adsorption in all the soils, most notably in the sesquioxidic (increase from 19.5 to 73.5 mmol Cd.kg<sup>-1</sup> soil) and kaolinitic soils (from 16.9 to 38.3 mmol Cd.kg<sup>-1</sup> soil), whereas acid priming decreased it or had little effect on cation sorption. However, acid priming increased anion sorption in all soil types, to a greater extent than base priming, most notably in the organic soil (from 6.3 to 14.7 mmol PO<sub>4</sub>kg<sup>-1</sup> soil). This can be attributed to the differences in the nature of the precipitate (more aluminous or alumino-siliceous) depending on whether the dissolution was carried out in acid or basic conditions, and the final pH of the soil solution, as the hydroxyaluminium and hydroxyaluminosilicate precipitates which form are known to enhance pH-dependent sorption of metals.<br><br> In the second study, the soil was suspended in Cd or Cu solutions and then the pH was adjusted to below 2 or above 12 using HC1 or KOH. After 5 days of shaking the pH was adjusted to a neutral pH again. The availability of the Cd and Cu was determined at each of the stages in the treatment, and it was found that both the acid and base treatments were effective in removing Cu from solution, whereas only the base treatment was effective in removing Cd. Determinations were also carried out using H2SO4 and Ca(OH)2 and it was found that they were equally effective. It can be proposed that this acid-base pair would be of most practical importance as the salt generated is gypsum which is generally considered benign, and can actually help to improve the soil structure.<br><br> Activation of soils by acid or base conditioning could have some useful applications in decontaminating soils or decreasing the mobility of inorganic contaminants in soils. Primed soils could also be used as cheap absorbents for decontaminating water. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Soil science en
dc.title Decontamination of soils by activation with acids and bases en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MSc (Agriculture) en


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