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Phytostabilization of mine tailings covered with fly ash and sewage sludge
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8452ISBN: 987-91-7155-807-7 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-8452DiVA: diva2:200294
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
List of papers
1. Ability of various plant species to prevent N, P, and metal leakage from sewage sludge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ability of various plant species to prevent N, P, and metal leakage from sewage sludge
2010 (English)In: International journal of phytoremediation, ISSN 1522-6514, E-ISSN 1549-7879, Vol. 12, no 1, 67-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The preventive effect of vegetation on nutrient and metal leakage from sewage sludge (SS) used in treatment of mine waste was investigated. In a 10-week greenhouse study, the release of ammonium, nitrate, phosphate, Cd, Cu, and Zn from SS was analyzed in the absence (control) and presence of basket willow, fireweed, reed Canary grass (RCG), and Scots pine. Plants significantly decreased the leakage by reducing the amount of leachate, and lowered the concentrations of phosphate (to 0.1 mg L-1), Cu (0.8 mg L-1), and Zn (2.2 mg L-1); and plants increased the pH in the leachate towards the end of the experiment. The most efficient plant was RCG that significantly decreased the total leakage of all pollutants. However, plants could not counteract high initial concentrations of ammonium and nitrate (< 400 mg L-1 of both) and drop in pH (to 4.5), or increasing Cd release (< 9.7 μg L-1). RCG and fireweed used both ammonium and nitrate as nitrogen source and were more efficient in preventing nitrate leakage, compared with willow and pine that mainly used ammonium. This study indicates that introduction of RCG is a promising method for phytostabilization of SS, but that alkaline additives are needed to prevent an initial decrease in pH.

Keyword
Biosolids; Epilobium angustifolium; leachate; Phalaris arundinacea; Pinus sylvestris; Salix viminalis
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25693 (URN)10.1080/15226510902767130 (DOI)000277460100005 ()
Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Stabilization of mine tailings using fly ash and sewage sludge planted with Phalaris arundinacea L
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stabilization of mine tailings using fly ash and sewage sludge planted with Phalaris arundinacea L
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
Keyword
Acid mine drainage - Bio fuel fly ash - Biosolids - Energy crop - Leachate - Reed canary grass
National Category
Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25694 (URN)10.1007/s11270-009-0142-5 (DOI)000274550700030 ()
Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Root penetration of sealing layers made of fly ash and sewage sludge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Root penetration of sealing layers made of fly ash and sewage sludge
2006 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Quality, ISSN 0047-2425, E-ISSN 1537-2537, Vol. 35, no 4, 1260-1268 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25695 (URN)10.2134/jeq2005.0229 (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8452Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Root growth into sealing layers of cured fly ash
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Root growth into sealing layers of cured fly ash
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25696 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8452Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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