Monday, 5 September 2016

Competitive and non-competitive cadmium, copper and lead sorption/desorption on wheat straw affecting sustainability in vineyards

Journal of Cleaner Production

The novelty of this work lies on the consideration of wheat straw to retain Cu and other heavy metals in vineyards, in addition to its known potential to decrease erosion, thus facilitating the growth of new vine plants and contributing to sustainability in vineyard production. In this study we used batch-type experiments to investigate Cd, Cu and Pb competitive and non-competitive sorption/desorption on wheat straw. In non-competitive experiments, sorption sequence was Pb > Cd > Cu when the lowest molar concentrations (0.5 mmol L−1) were added, and Pb > Cu > Cd when the highest molar concentrations (6.0 mmol L−1) were added. Sorption curves indicated clearly higher sorption for Pb, lower initial sorption in the case of Cu, and certain trend to saturation of sorption sites for Cd. Data showed good adjustment to the Langmuir model just for Cd, whereas the Freundlich equation fitted well for all three metals. Desorption rates were low, in the order Pb < Cd < Cu. In the competitive experiment, the sorption sequence was Pb > Cu > Cd. The results indicate that competition clearly affected to Cd sorption, especially when the highest concentrations (6 mmol L−1) of the three heavy metals were added. The highest percentage of desorption in the competitive system corresponded to Cd, whereas Pb and Cu experienced clearly lower release. Comparing competitive and non-competitive experiments, Pb sorption was equivalent in the non-competitive and competitive trials, Cu sorption was slightly higher in the non-competitive than in the competitive experiment, and Cd sorption was clearly higher in the non-competitive trial. Percentage desorption decreased for Pb and for Cu in the competitive trial, whereas it was clearly higher for Cd in the competitive than in the non-competitive experiment. The overall results indicate that Pb, Cu and Cd can be retained by wheat straw (especially Cu and Pb), thus decreasing risks of pollution, which could be used to treat polluted waters, and could also give additional value to wheat straw mulching used to protect vineyards from erosion and Cu (and other heavy metals) pollution, thus contributing to sustainability in this productive sector.