Phytostabilization of mine tailings covered with fly ash and sewage sludge
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Ammonium, biosolids, cadmium, copper, energy crop, metal and nutrient leakage, nitrate, phosphate, phytoremediation, plant stress response, root exudates, zinc
Research subject Plant Physiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8452ISBN: 987-91-7155-807-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-8452DiVA: diva2:200294
2009-02-16, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativ. 5, Stockholm, 13:00
Dexter, Anthony R., Professor
Greger, Maria, Associate ProfessorKautsky, Lena, Professor
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