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Long-term fate of zinc and cadmium in contaminated soils: Experimental metal speciation and model development

English title Long-term fate of zinc and cadmium in contaminated soils: Experimental metal speciation and model development
Applicant Kretzschmar Ruben
Number 101876
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Biogeochemie und Schadstoffdynamik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Pedology
Start/End 01.12.2003 - 30.11.2006
Approved amount 138'658.00
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Keywords (11)

soil pollution; heavy metals; Zn; Cd; speciation; X-ray absorption; zinc; EXAFS; extraction; adsorption; precipitation

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Zinc is an essential nutrient at low concentrations. However, anthropogenic emissions may lead to soil Zn contents above natural levels.
In contaminated soils, Zn may reduce soil fertility, plant growth, and crop yield. The bioavailability and mobility of trace metals in soils is strongly influenced by their speciation, i.e., the chemical form in which they are present. Zinc may adsorb to soil components such as clay minerals, metal oxides, and soil organic matter. In addition, Zn may also form precipitates. While trace metals in contaminated soils are not biodegradable, their slow incorporation into stable mineral phases forming in the soil environment may potentially reduce their bioavailability in the long term. Therefore, knowledge on the formation of Zn containing precipitates and their effect on the reactivity of Zn is essential for assessing the long term effect of soil contamination with Zn. While laboratory experiments demonstrated the formation of Zn bearing precipitates, their formation in the soil environment is poorly understood. Most of these precipitates also contain Si and Al, which originate from the dissolution of other soil minerals. The extent to which different types of Zn bearing minerals are formed in soils are expected to depend on the properties of the respective soil. Therefore, the objectives of this project are i) to establish the link between soil chemical parameters and the extent to which different types of Zn bearing phases form and ii) to study the resulting effect on Zn availability.
For this purpose, we sampled soils below the towers of power lines crossing Switzerland from north to south. These soils contain elevated Zn contents due to Zn leaching from corrosion of galvanized power line towers. On the other hand, they cover a wide spectrum of soil properties due to different parent material, exposition, and climate. To study the speciation of Zn in these soils, we employ advanced analytical methods based on the use of highly intense synchrotron radiation produced at synchrotron research facilities (e.g., Swiss Light Source, PSI). These studies provide molecular scale information on the structure of Zn in specific soils, from which their speciation can be deduced. In parallel, the reactivity of Zn in the soils is assessed by extraction with different chemicals selected to attack different forms of Zn. By combining the results from synchrotron-based spectroscopic studies with the findings from extractions and considering the chemical properties of the individual soils, this project provides new insights into the types of Zn bearing phases forming as a function of soil chemical parameters and into the effect of these various types of Zn phases on the reactivity of Zn. This knowledge will prove useful for the well-funded assessment of possible risks associated with elevated Zn contents of soils.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Characterization of zinc in contaminated soils: complementary insights from isotopic exchange, batch extractions and XAFS spectroscopy
Degryse F, Voegelin A, Jacquat O, Kretzschmar R, Smolders E (2011), Characterization of zinc in contaminated soils: complementary insights from isotopic exchange, batch extractions and XAFS spectroscopy, in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOIL SCIENCE, 62(2), 318-330.
Origin of high Zn contents in Jurassic limestone of the Jura mountain range and the Burgundy: evidence from Zn speciation and distribution
Jacquat O, Rambeau C, Voegelin A, Efimenko N, Villard A, Follmi KB, Kretzschmar R (2011), Origin of high Zn contents in Jurassic limestone of the Jura mountain range and the Burgundy: evidence from Zn speciation and distribution, in SWISS JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, 104(3), 409-424.
Time-Dependent Changes of Zinc Speciation in Four Soils Contaminated with Zincite or Sphalerite
Voegelin A, Jacquat O, Pfister S, Barmettler K, Scheinost AC, Kretzschmar R (2010), Time-Dependent Changes of Zinc Speciation in Four Soils Contaminated with Zincite or Sphalerite, in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 45(1), 255-261.
Changes in Zn speciation during soil formation from Zn-rich limestones
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Juillot F, Kretzschmar R (2009), Changes in Zn speciation during soil formation from Zn-rich limestones, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 73(19), 5554-5571.
Local coordination of Zn in hydroxy-interlayered minerals and implications for Zn retention in soils
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Kretzschmar R (2009), Local coordination of Zn in hydroxy-interlayered minerals and implications for Zn retention in soils, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 73(2), 348-363.
Soil properties controlling Zn speciation and fractionation in contaminated soils
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Kretzschmar R (2009), Soil properties controlling Zn speciation and fractionation in contaminated soils, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 73(18), 5256-5272.
Formation of Zn-rich phyllosilicate, Zn-layered double hydroxide and hydrozincite in contaminated calcareous soils
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Villard A, Marcus MA, Kretzschmar R (2008), Formation of Zn-rich phyllosilicate, Zn-layered double hydroxide and hydrozincite in contaminated calcareous soils, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 72(20), 5037-5054.
Zinc fractionation in contaminated soils by sequential and single extractions: Influence of soil properties and zinc content
Voegelin A, Tokpa G, Jacquat O, Barmettler K, Kretzschmar R (2008), Zinc fractionation in contaminated soils by sequential and single extractions: Influence of soil properties and zinc content, in JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, 37(3), 1190-1200.
Formation of hydrozincite, Zn layered double hydroxide and Zn phyllosilicates in contaminated calcareous soils
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Kretzschmar R (2007), Formation of hydrozincite, Zn layered double hydroxide and Zn phyllosilicates in contaminated calcareous soils, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 71(15), 437-437.
Zinc speciation in contaminated soils in relation to soil type
Jacquat O, Voegelin A, Kretzschmar R (2005), Zinc speciation in contaminated soils in relation to soil type, in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 69(10), 612-612.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
162364 Sorption of thallium to illite and birnessite and its impact on thallium solubility in soils 01.02.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
116592 Long-term fate of zinc in contaminated soils: Zinc speciation by synchrotron spectroscopy and chemical extractions 01.04.2007 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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