Immobilization of nickel and other metals in contaminated sediments by hydroxyapatite addition

Batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the ability of hydroxyapatite (HA) to reduce the solubility of metals, including the primary contaminants of concern, Ni and U, from contaminated sediments located on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, near Aiken, SC. Hydroxyapatite was added to the sediments at application rates of 0, 5, 15.8, and 50 g kg-1. After equilibrating in either 0.02 M KCl or 0.01 M CaCl2, the samples were centrifuged and the supernatants filtered prior to metal, dissolved organic C, and PO4 analyses. The treated soils were then air-dried and changes in solid-phase metal distribution were evaluated using sequential extractions and electron-based microanalysis techniques. Hydroxyapatite was effective at reducing the solubility of U and, to a lesser degree, Ni. Hydroxyapatite was also effective in reducing the solubility of Al, Ba, Cd, Co, Mn, and Pb. Sequential extractions indicate that HA transfers such metals from more chemically labile forms, such as the water-soluble and exchangeable fractions, by altering solid-phase speciation in favor of secondary phosphate precipitates. Hydroxyapatite effectiveness was somewhat reduced in the presence of soluble organics that likely increased contaminant metal solubility through complexation. Arsenic and Cr solubility increased with HA addition, suggesting that the increase in pH and competition from PO4 reduced sorption of oxyanion contaminants. Energy dispersive x-ray (EDXA) analysis conducted in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) confirmed that HA amendment sequesters U, Ni, Pb, and possibly other contaminant metals in association with secondary Al-phosphates.

Published in:
Journal of Environmental Quality, 30, 2, 460-469
American Society of Agronomy

 Record created 2010-01-08, last modified 2018-03-17

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