Planting trees and amending with waste increases the capacity of mine tailings soils to retain Ni, Pb and Zn

Verónica Asensio Fandiño, Flora A. Vega, Rubén Forján, Emma F. Covelo


The sorption capacity for Ni, Pb and Zn of mine tailings soil with and without reclamation treatment (tree planting and waste amendment) was evaluated using the batch adsorption technique. It is important to determine the capacity of waste-amended soils to retain Ni, Pb and Zn, as the sludges used usually have high concentrations of these metals. The results obtained in the present study showed that the untreated mine tailings soil had a low capacity for Ni, Pb and Zn retention. The sorption capacity for Pb increased significantly in all of the treated soils, without any significant differences between them. The treatment that most increased the sorption capacity for Ni and Zn was planting with trees and amending with waste simultaneously, as this increased the concentration of both organic and inorganic carbon, exchangeable calcium, soil pH and effective cation exchange capacity
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