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Stabilization of mine tailings using fly ash and sewage sludge planted with Phalaris arundinacea L
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2010 (English)In: Water, Air and Soil Pollution, ISSN 0049-6979, E-ISSN 1573-2932, Vol. 207, no 1-4, 357-367 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The impact of plants (Phalaris arundinacea L.) on the leakage of ammonium, cadmium, copper, nitrate, phosphate, and zinc from sulfidic mine tailings covered with wood fly ash and sewage sludge was investigated. Either ash or sludge was placed in contact with the tailings, and ash layers of either low or high compactness were used. It was revealed that an ash/sludge cover effectively decreased the metal leaching from the tailings regardless of the order in which the materials were applied. Plants decreased the amount of leachate and the concentrations of ammonium and phosphate. The presence of ash below the sludge decreased the plant uptake of copper and zinc and nitrate leakage. However, when the ash was added as a thin (1.5 cm) porous layer, roots and air reached the tailings and caused high metal leakage. The results support the use of a vegetated ash/sludge cover in the treatment of mine tailings, provided that the sealing layer is firm enough to prevent root penetration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2010. Vol. 207, no 1-4, 357-367 p.
Keyword [en]
Acid mine drainage - Bio fuel fly ash - Biosolids - Energy crop - Leachate - Reed canary grass
National Category
Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25694DOI: 10.1007/s11270-009-0142-5ISI: 000274550700030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25694DiVA: diva2:200291
Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phytostabilization of mine tailings covered with fly ash and sewage sludge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phytostabilization of mine tailings covered with fly ash and sewage sludge
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Establishing plant communities is essential for the restoration of contaminated land. As potential cover materials, fly ash and sewage sludge can prevent formation of acid mine drainage from sulfidic mine waste. The aim of the thesis was to i) screen for plants that can be established in, and prevent leakage of metals and nutrients from sludge on top of ash and tailings, and ii) investigate root growth into sealing layers of ash and sludge. Analyses were performed under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions using selected plant species to examine the release of Cd, Cu, Zn, N, and P from the materials. Plant physiological responses and interactions with fly ash were also investigated.

The data show that plants can decrease metal and nutrient leakage from the materials, and lower the elemental levels in the leachate, but with varying efficiencies among plant species. Plants capable of taking up both nitrate and ammonium were more efficient in preventing N leakage compared with those taking up primarily ammonium. Fast growing plants could raise the pH in acidic sludge leachate, but the initial pH decrease and N leakage was not counteracted by plants. Germination in fresh sludge was problematic, but enhanced by aeration of the sludge. In general, the accumulation of metals in plant shoots was low, especially if ash was located below the sludge. Fresh ash was phytotoxic (e.g., high alkalinity, salinity and metal levels) and induced the activity of stress-related enzymes in shoots. In sealing layers of aged and cured ash, roots could grow if the penetration resistance was low, or into the surface of stronger layers if the surface had become pulverized. The roots caused dissolution of calcium-rich minerals, possibly by exudation of saccharides. Addition of sludge to an ash layer increased root growth, likely due to decreased bulk density and pH, and nutrient addition. In conclusion, with selected plant species and a properly constructed cover, metal and nutrient leaching from the materials and root growth into the sealing layer can be restricted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Botaniska institutionen, 2009. 54 p.
Keyword
Ammonium, biosolids, cadmium, copper, energy crop, metal and nutrient leakage, nitrate, phosphate, phytoremediation, plant stress response, root exudates, zinc
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Plant Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8452 (URN)987-91-7155-807-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-02-16, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativ. 5, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21Bibliographically approved

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