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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15807-15818; doi:10.3390/ijerph121215022

Evaluation and Source Apportionment of Heavy Metals (HMs) in Sewage Sludge of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in Shanxi, China

1
College of Resources and Environment, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu, Shanxi 030801, China
2
College of Forestry, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu, Shanxi 030801, China
3
Alberta Innovates—Energy & Environment Solutions, Edmonton, AB T5J3G2, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
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Abstract

Heavy metals (HMs) in sewage sludge have become the crucial limiting factors for land use application. Samples were collected and analyzed from 32 waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Shanxi Province, China. HM levels in sewage sludge were assessed. The multivariate statistical method principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify the sources of HMs in sewage sludge. HM pollution classes by geochemical accumulation index Igeo and correlation analyses between HMs were also conducted. HMs were arranged in the following decreasing order of mean concentration: Zn > Cu > Cr > Pb > As > Hg > Cd; the maximum concentrations of all HMs were within the limit of maximum content permitted by Chinese discharge standard. Igeo classes of HMs pollution in order from most polluted to least were: Cu and Hg pollution were the highest; Cd and Cr pollution were moderate; Zn, As and Pb pollution were the least. Sources of HM contamination in sewage sludge were identified as three components. The primary contaminant source accounting for 35.7% of the total variance was identified as smelting industry, coking plant and traffic sources; the second source accounting for 29.0% of the total variance was distinguished as household and water supply pollution; the smallest of the three sources accounting for 16.2% of the total variance was defined as special industries such as leather tanning, textile manufacturing and chemical processing industries. Source apportionment of HMs in sewage sludge can control HM contamination through suggesting improvements in government policies and industrial processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: sewage sludge; heavy metals; geo accumulation index; classes of pollution; principal component analysis; source apportionment; Shanxi sewage sludge; heavy metals; geo accumulation index; classes of pollution; principal component analysis; source apportionment; Shanxi
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MDPI and ACS Style

Duan, B.; Liu, F.; Zhang, W.; Zheng, H.; Zhang, Q.; Li, X.; Bu, Y. Evaluation and Source Apportionment of Heavy Metals (HMs) in Sewage Sludge of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in Shanxi, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 15807-15818.

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