Organic acids effects on desorption of heavy metals from a contaminated soil

Ácidos orgânicos e seus efeitos na dessorção de metais pesados em solo contaminado

Phytoremediation of heavy metals is a biotechnology that extracts metals from soils and transfer them to plant. As hyperaccumulator species have demonstrated low potential for commercial phytoextraction, synthetic chelates have been successfully used to induce accumulation of metals by high-biomass plants. However, they pose serious environmental drawbacks regarding excessive amount of metals solubilized. In search for synthetic chelate-alternatives, this paper evaluate the performance of DTPA, EDTA, citric acid, oxalic acid, vanillic acid, and gallic acid in desorbing Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Ni from soil. DTPA and EDTA were highly effective in desorbing Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Ni from soil. However, the excessively high concentration of metals brought in solution by such chelates limits their application in the field. Citric and oxalic acids desorbed substantial quantities of Zn, Cu, and Ni if applied at 10 or 20 mmol kg-1. At the 20 mmol kg-1 dose, vanillic and gallic acids solubilized significant amounts of Zn, Ni, and Cd from soil. None of the tested low molecular weight organic acids substantially increased the Pb concentration in soil solution.

phytoremediation; phytoextraction; soil pollution


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