Effect of biodegradable amendments on uranium solubility in contaminated soils

Lise Duquène, Filip Tack, Erik Meers, Jo Baeten, Jean Wannijn, Hildegarde Vandenhove

    Research outputpeer-review


    Chelate-assisted phytoextraction has been proposed as a potential tool for phytoremediation of U contaminated sites. In this context, the effects of five biodegradable amendments on U release in contaminated soils were evaluated. Three soils were involved in this study, one with a relatively high background level of U, and two which were contaminated with U from industrial effluents. Soils were treated with 5 mmol kg−1 dry weight of either citric acid, NH4-citrate/citric acid, oxalic acid, S,S-ethylenediamine disuccinic acid or nitrilotriacetic acid. Soil solution concentration of U was monitored during 2 weeks. All amendments increased U concentration in soil solution, but citric acid and NH4-citrate/citric acid mixture were most effective, with up to 479-fold increase. For oxalic acid, S,S-ethylenediamine disuccinic acid and nitrilotriacetic acid, the increase ranged from10-to 100-fold. The highest concentrations were observed 1 to 7 days after treatment, after which U levels in soil solution gradually decreased. Thermodynamic stability constants (log K) of complexes did not predict the relative efficiency of the selected biodegradable amendments on U release in soil solution. Amendments efficiency was better predicted by the relative affinity of the chelate for Fe compared to U.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-33
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 3 Dec 2007

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