Thursday 3 March 2016

Contribution of waste and biochar amendment to the sorption of metals in a copper mine tailing

Volume 137, February 2016, Pages 120–125

One technique applied to restore degraded or contaminated soils is to use amendments made of different types of waste materials, which in turn may contain metals such as Cu, Pb and Zn. For this reason it is important to determine the capacity of the soil to retain these materials, and to compare the sorption capacity between an amended soil and another unamended soil. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical behaviour of these metals in the soil after applying the amendment, and how it affected the soil's sorption capacity. Another aim was to study the contribution of contaminating elements from the amendment itself. The amendments used in this study were a mixture made of waste material (sewage sludges, sludges from an aluminium plant, ash, food industry wastes, and sands from a wastewater treatment plant) and biochar (biomass of Acacia dealbata) (97%:3%) in different soil/amendment proportions. The soil was from a mine tailing. The mine tailings were amended with the mixture of waste and biochar which had a higher sorption capacity than the soil from the pond. The samples with amendment had a greater affinity for Cu, Pb and Zn than the mine soil. The results obtained show that adding a mixture made of waste and biochar favours the retention of Cu, Pb and Zn in mine tailing from metal mines.