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Title: The application of pHstat leaching tests to assess the pH-dependent release of trace metals from soils, sediments and waste materials
Authors: Cappuyns, ValĂ©rie ×
Swennen, Rudy #
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2008
Publisher: Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co.
Series Title: Journal of Hazardous Materials vol:158 issue:1 pages:185-195
Abstract: pH is one of the key parameters that determines heavy metal mobility in soils, sediments andwaste materials. In many respects leaching behaviour as reflected by the pHstat leaching tests provide a better means of assessing environmental impact than analysis of total elemental composition. This paper discusses the use of pHstat leaching tests as a tool to assess the potential mobilisation of trace metals from soils, sediments and waste materials. The possibilities of pHstat leaching tests are illustrated by means of different examples. The mathematical fitting of metal leaching behaviour from soils and sediments enabled a distinction between 5 groups of elements with a different leaching behaviour, which could be related to ‘pools’ with different reactivity. Contrary to single and sequential extractions, where pH is difficult to control, the reactivity and mobility of metals at a user-defined pH can be investigated. Moreover, the potential buffering capacity of the sample and its sensitivity to pH changes as a result of external stresses (e.g. soil acidification, liming) can be estimated. A multidisciplinary approach combining mineralogical analysis (X-ray diffraction) with chemical analysis, pHstat leaching tests and geochemical modelling(MINTEQA2)can provide information on the solid-phase speciation and reactivity of heavy metals in soils, sediments andwaste materials. Besides the influence of pH on heavy metal leaching behaviour, additional information on heavy metal leachability and retention by the solid matrix was obtained from the kinetics of metal release during a pHstat test.
pH is one of the key parameters that determines heavy metal mobility in soils, sediments and waste materials. In many respects leaching behaviour as reflected by the pHstat leaching tests provide a better means of assessing environmental impact than analysis of total elemental composition. This paper discusses the use of pHstat leaching tests as a tool to assess the potential mobilisation of trace metals from soils, sediments and waste materials. The possibilities of pHstat leaching tests are illustrated by means of different examples.

The mathematical fitting of metal leaching behaviour from soils and sediments enabled a distinction between 5 groups of elements with a different leaching behaviour, which could be related to ‘pools’ with different reactivity. Contrary to single and sequential extractions, where pH is difficult to control, the reactivity and mobility of metals at a user-defined pH can be investigated. Moreover, the potential buffering capacity of the sample and its sensitivity to pH changes as a result of external stresses (e.g. soil acidification, liming) can be estimated.

A multidisciplinary approach combining mineralogical analysis (X-ray diffraction) with chemical analysis, pHstat leaching tests and geochemical modelling (MINTEQA2) can provide information on the solid-phase speciation and reactivity of heavy metals in soils, sediments and waste materials. Besides the influence of pH on heavy metal leaching behaviour, additional information on heavy metal leachability and retention by the solid matrix was obtained from the kinetics of metal release during a pHstat test.
ISSN: 0304-3894
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geology
Research Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability, Campus Brussels
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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