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Water Science and Technology Vol 34 No 7-8 pp 413–420 © IWA Publishing 1996

The effect of clay amendment on speciation of heavy metals in sewage sludge

L. Qiao and Goen Ho


ABSTRACT
When sewage sludge is used as a soil conditioner, heavy metal contamination can limit its application rates. The potential hazard of heavy metals is, however, dependent on the physico-chemical forms of the metals in the sludge and soil. Bauxite refining residue (red mud) has been used to reduce the mobility and availability of heavy metals in municipal solid waste compost. In the present research a sequential step extraction was employed to investigate metal speciation (into exchangeable, bound to carbonate, to Mn & Fe oxides, to organic matter and in residue phase) and the effect of red mud on metal speciation in sewage sludge for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. The effect of red mud addition on metal distribution in sewage sludge compost was significant. Red mud addition can effectively reduce the metal mobility and the potential hazard of releasing metals from sludge due to the further breakdown of organic matter. Drying of sludge makes heavy metals more available. Red mud addition will be desirable in such a case. Plant available metals (determined by DTPA extraction) are, however, not as effectively reduced except for Pb and Zn.

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