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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

Print version ISSN 0100-0683On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


BOECHAT, Cácio Luiz et al. Solubility of Heavy Metals/Metalloid on Multi-Metal Contaminated Soil Samples from a Gold Ore Processing Area: Effects of Humic Substances. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2016, vol.40, e0150383.  Epub June 30, 2016. ISSN 0100-0683.

Bioavailability of heavy metals at contaminated sites is largely controlled by the physicochemical properties of the environmental media such as dissolved organic matter, hydroxides and clay colloids, pH, soil cation exchange capacity and oxidation-reduction potential. The aim of this study was to investigate soil pH and heavy metal solubility effect by levels of humic and fulvic acids applied in soil samples with different levels of contamination by heavy metals. The soil samples used in this study were collected in a known metal-contaminated site. Humic acid (HA) and fulvic acid (FA) were purchased as a commercially available liquid material extracted from Leonardite. The experiment was carried out in a factorial scheme of 4 × (4 + 1), with four contaminated soil samples and four treatments, comprised of two levels of HA, two levels of FA and a control. The HA treatments increased the solubility of Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr, Cd, Pb, As and Ba from soils, while FA treatments decreased, thus raising or not their availability and mobility in soil. Humic acid concentration did not influence soil pH and FA decreased soil pH until 0.7 units. The initial heavy metal concentration in soil affects the magnitude of the processes involving humic substances. The lower releases of heavy metals by FA verified the importance of the complexation properties of organic compounds. These results appear to encourage the use of HA for increased plant-availability of heavy metals in remediation projects and the use of FA for decreased plant-availability of heavy metals at contaminated sites with a risk of introducing metals into the food chain.

Keywords : soil pH; bioavailable metal; humic acid; fulvic acids; metal leaching.

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