Thermally activated serpentine materials as soil additives for copper and nickel immobilization in highly polluted peat

Heat-treated serpentine products from mining wastes have been examined to remediate highly contaminated soil with total concentration of Cu 10470 mg/kg and Ni 5300 mg/kg. The series of laboratory and field experiments (for 10 years) were conducted. The modified Tessier method was used to assess the metals geochemical mobility. The effect of hydration on the chemical stability of the components and sorption properties of thermally activated serpentine were studied. The hydration of heat-treated serpentine decreased the leaching of the main components (Mg and Si) that indicates their partial binding in a newly formed compound—magnesium silicate. Hydration of heat-treated serpentine did not lead to the changes in the phase composition and the geochemical mobility of the precipitated Ni and Cu compounds. The hydration affected the sorption value at the 1 day of the interaction but after 30 days this difference partially leveled. A laboratory experiment showed that thermally activated serpentine was effective for the Cu and Ni sorption from sulfate solutions. The substantial changes in chemical properties of soil mixtures after ten years of the field experiment were found. In the first year of the field experiment, the pH values of soil mixtures were alkaline (9.4–9.9) and were significantly higher compared to the pH 4.0 of the initial peat soil. Over 10 years, the soil pH at the experimental sites gradually decreased and reached values of 7.2–8.6. The introduction of thermoactivated serpentines led to a decrease in the share of the most mobile exchangeable fraction. The most noticeable effect of thermoactivated serpentines on metal mobility in the polluted peat soil revealed for Cu; its migration coefficient decreased from 1.8 in the peat soil to 0.7 in the mixtures with heat-treated serpentines. The sum of Cu mobile fractions in the experimental variants became lower compared with initial peat by 50–70%, while Fe was lower by 30%, and Zn—by 80%. The increase in the proportion of the most strongly bound fraction was observed for all metals in the experimental variants compared with initial soil. The coefficient of metal accumulation for Ni and Cu was significantly lower than 1, indicating protective mechanisms in plants. The high content of mobile Mg and Ca compounds seems to be the determining factor in this process. The grass communities forming in the 10-years experiment showed high productivity and stability even under constant airborne industrial pollution. The thermally activated serpentine minerals can be recommended for the in situ remediation of landscapes with completely lost vegetation during the long-term impact of industrial emissions. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Slukovskaya M.V. 1, 2, 3 , Kremenetskaya I.P.2 , Mosendz I.A.1, 2 , Ivanova T.K.1, 2 , Drogobuzhskaya S.V.2 , Ivanova L.A.4, 5 , Novikov A.I.2 , Shirokaya A.A.2
Springer Science and Business Media B.V.
  • 1 Laboratory of Nature-inspired Technologies and Environmental Safety of the Arctic region, Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russian Federation
  • 2 I.V. Tananaev Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Rare Elements and Mineral Raw Materials, Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russian Federation
  • 3 Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems, RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 4 N.A. Avrorin Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden-Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russian Federation
  • 5 Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems, Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russian Federation
Chrysotile; Copper; Hydration; Lizardite; Metal fractioning; Nickel; Remediation; Sorption
Date of creation
Date of change
Short link

Other records