Soil washing is an efficient, economical, and green remediation technology for removing several heavy metal (loid)s from contaminated industrial sites. The extraction of green and efficient washing agents from low-cost feedback is crucially important. In this study, a soluble humic substance (HS) extracted from leonardite was first tested to wash soils (red soil, fluvo-aquic soil, and black soil) heavily contaminated with arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd). A D-optimal mixture design was investigated to optimize the washing parameters. The optimum removal efficiencies of As and Cd by single HS washing were found to be 52.58%-60.20% and 58.52%-86.69%, respectively. Furthermore, a two-step sequential washing with chemical reductant NH2OH•HCl coupled with HS (NH2OH•HCl + HS) was performed to improve the removal efficiency of As and Cd. The two-step sequential washing significantly enhanced the removal of As and Cd to 75.25%-81.53% and 64.53%-97.64%, which makes the residual As and Cd in soil below the risk control standards for construction land. The two-step sequential washing also effectively controlled the mobility and bioavailability of residual As and Cd. However, the activities of soil catalase and urease significantly decreased after the NH2OH•HCl + HS washing. Follow-up measures such as soil neutralization could be applied to relieve and restore the soil enzyme activity. In general, the two-step sequential soil washing with NH2OH•HCl + HS is a fast and efficient method for simultaneously removing high content of As and Cd from contaminated soils.
Environ Res, 2023, 220 pp. 115120 - ?
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