Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Joseph H. Rule

Committee Member

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

Chen Zhu

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4 L49


The enhanced leaching of trace metals through soil becomes a concern for human health if dissolved trace metals reach groundwater and migrate into a public water system. A serial batch extraction procedure was implemented to determine the effects of Vitagrow © organic matter and Fe-Rich TM clay on the mobility of trace metals (Zn, Pb, and Cd) from a flue dust treated (0, 600, 1200, and 2400 μgig Zn) Appling soil.

The addition of an organic matter (OM) amendment to the Appling soil enhanced Pb mobility and reduced soluble Zn and Cd. In general, average solution concentrations of trace metals increased with each increase in flue dust treatment level, however there were some exceptions. The OM amendment increased the amount of soluble Pb able to reach groundwater by an average of 1.92 μg/L. This increase was 5.49 μg/L with the 0 μgig Zn flue dust level, but only 0.90 μg/L with the 2400 μgig Zn flue dust level. The reduction in soluble Pb able to reach groundwater is due to an increase in pH associated with the higher flue dust treatment level (2400 μgig Zn). Based upon these data, the OM amendment will not significantly increase the risk of groundwater contamination.

The Fe-rich clay distinctly increased the pH and reduced the concentration of soluble trace metals (Zn, Pb, Cd) in the upper part of each simulated column immediately after it was added. The basicity introduced by the Fe-rich was quickly neutralized and pH began to decrease through the rest of each column.

The addition of organic matter to this flue dust contaminated soil will significantly reduce the concentrations of Zn and Cd able to reach groundwater. In addition, liming and maintenance of high pH levels will greatly reduce trace metal leaching through this soil. Fe-rich clay should be used in conjunction with lime and organic matter to nullify the effects of free ionic and soluble organic complex transport of Pb.


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