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Sustainable Remediation for Immobilization, Removal or Detoxification of Emerging Contaminants in Soil

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil Conservation and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2024) | Viewed by 2372

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biotechnology, Faculty of Geoingineering, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Interests: soil remediation systems; soil science and soil reclamation; heavy metals and metalloids; biosurfactants in soil remediation; phytoremediation; waste-based materials in soil remediation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil is one of the most important natural resources, providing a wide range of goods and services, and chemical pollution is one of the greatest threats to it. Emerging contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, metalloids, PFAS, and microplastics) can accumulate in soil, potentially having toxic effects on human health and ecosystems and threatening the sustainable use and management of soil resources. Therefore, soil remediation is urgently required in order to clean contaminated soils. Nowadays, due to environmental, economic, and social concerns about conventional remediation, there is growing interest in sustainable remediation, which is being adopted by remediation practitioners due to its holistic approach and ability to recover valuable resources, minimize human impacts, and save energy. This interest leads to the development of novel approaches involving new or modified materials, processes, and technologies that are efficient, cost-effective, and protective of soil and have a low occupational risk and high social acceptance. Despite the great potential for applying sustainable remediation measures to contaminated soils, not all solutions are truly sustainable. The proposals and applicability of various strategies for sustainable soil remediation need to be further researched. This is important for the selection of remediation alternatives and the further management and use of soil.

The goal of this Special Issue is to provide a unique opportunity for researchers to share studies and experiences in the form of laboratory research, case studies, field experiments, and reviews on recent achievements in sustainable remediation solutions for immobilizing, removing, or detoxifying in soils contaminated with emerging contaminants and the effect of these soil restoration solutions. To fill knowledge gaps and provide new insights into sustainable remediation solutions, this Special Issue seeks contributions that focus on key topics:​

  • Sustainable ex-situ and in situ soil remediation based on single or integrated physical, chemical, biological, and thermal processes;
  • Synthesis, characterization, and application of sustainable soil additives for the immobilization or removal of emerging contaminants from soils;
  • Holistic assessment of sustainable remediation of contaminated soils;
  • Management of the waste generated during sustainable remediation.

Dr. Mariusz Gusiatin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • emerging contaminants
  • degraded soils
  • phytoremediation and phytomanagement
  • bioremediation and nanoremediation
  • stabilization/solidification
  • soil washing
  • electrokinetic remediation
  • waste-based materials
  • carbon-based materials, including biochars, engineered biochars, and nanomaterials
  • natural minerals
  • novel chelating agents, biosurfactants, and humic substances
  • properties and monitoring of contaminated/remediated soils
  • functionality of remediated soils
  • management of solid and liquid post-remediation waste
  • environmental risk assessment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 1077 KiB  
Risk Assessment and Spatial Distribution of Heavy Metals with an Emphasis on Antimony (Sb) in Urban Soil in Bojnourd, Iran
by Abdulmannan Rouhani, Mohsen Makki, Michal Hejcman, Razieh Shirzad and Mariusz Z. Gusiatin
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3495; - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1751
Recently, one of the major environmental issues is the pollution of soil with Antimony (Sb), which is ecologically detrimental and potentially carcinogenic to humans. In developing countries such as Iran, Sb concentrations in soils have not yet been accurately determined. Therefore, the purpose [...] Read more.
Recently, one of the major environmental issues is the pollution of soil with Antimony (Sb), which is ecologically detrimental and potentially carcinogenic to humans. In developing countries such as Iran, Sb concentrations in soils have not yet been accurately determined. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the levels of Sb and the other HMs (Pb, Cd, As, Ni, Hg and Cr) in the surface soils of Bojnourd, Iran, as well as their distribution and potential risks to the environment and human health. A total of 37 soil samples (0–20 cm) were taken from different sampling stations: 900 × 900 m regular grid for traffic areas (TA), residential areas (RA) and suburb areas (SA). The contamination factor (CF) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) are two indices that were used to reflect the potential ecological risk from HMs. Geographic information system (GIS), Spearman correlation matrix and health risk indexes were utilized to investigate the source and potential hazard of HMs. The results showed that the average concentration of HMs in TA was highly enriched compared to other areas. Most soil samples were identified to have low levels of Sb and Ni pollution, while having moderate to high levels of Pb, Cr, As, Hg and Cd pollution, as determined by the pollution indices (Igeo and CF). Geostatistical analysis and GIS mapping of the spatial distribution of HM concentrations showed that there have been similar patterns of spatial distribution for Cd, Cr, Ni and Sb and their hot spots were in the southeast, west and center of the city. Neither the hazard quotient (HQ) nor the hazard index (HI) of the examined HMs indicated any non-carcinogenic risk to adults or children. However, carcinogenic risk assessment revealed that cancer risk was raised from Cr and Cd contents for children, while these elements showed an acceptable risk for adults. Furthermore, children’s carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic values were greater than adults’, indicating more potential health hazards associated with these HMs. Therefore, assessing the risk posed by HM pollution in urban surface soil is vital and urgent for children. A more detailed investigation is also required to identify the spatial distribution of soil pollution in areas recognized as enriched in Sb. A proper assessment of the environmental risk and the corresponding risk to humans from HM in a study area can be critical to developing an appropriate remediation method. Full article
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