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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1257; doi:10.3390/su8121257

Colloidal Mobilization and Fate of Trace Heavy Metals in Semi-Saturated Artificial Soil (OECD) Irrigated with Treated Wastewater

1
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Via Di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino, Italy
2
Université Paris-Est, Laboratoire Géomatériaux et Environnement (EA 4508), UPEM, 77454 Marne-la-Vallée, France
3
Department of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
4
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract

The mobility of selected heavy metals in trace concentrations was investigated in a standard OECD soil irrigated with the effluent of a real municipal wastewater treatment plant. While Cd, Cu and Ni accumulation-migration patterns were mainly influenced by the mobility of colloids generated from soil organic and inorganic matter, Zn mobility was more influenced by the wastewater content of dissolved organic matter and by its salinity. Metal accumulation caused by interaction with colloids resulted in contamination peaks both in different zones of the soil column and in the leaching solution. The release of metals in the leachate was correlated to the contemporary release of silicates from kaolinite and dissolved organic matter, identified through UV absorbance and chemical oxygen demand monitoring. The hypothesized colloidal mobilization was confirmed by spectroscopic studies. The highly heterogeneous complexes of organic and inorganic molecules responsible for metal transport through soil appeared to be structured in highly stable micellar aggregates. View Full-Text
Keywords: colloidal mobilization of HMs; fate of trace metals; humic substances; mineral organic associations; soil organic matter colloidal mobilization of HMs; fate of trace metals; humic substances; mineral organic associations; soil organic matter
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pontoni, L.; van Hullebusch, E.D.; Pechaud, Y.; Fabbricino, M.; Esposito, G.; Pirozzi, F. Colloidal Mobilization and Fate of Trace Heavy Metals in Semi-Saturated Artificial Soil (OECD) Irrigated with Treated Wastewater. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1257.

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