Biosolids application affects the competitive sorption and lability of cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc in fluvial and calcareous soils

Sabry M. Shaheen, Vasileios Antoniadis, Eilhann E. Kwon, Jayanta K. Biswas, Hailong Wang, Yong Sik Ok, Jörg Rinklebe

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The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of biosolids on the competitive sorption and lability of the sorbed Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in fluvial and calcareous soils. Competitive sorption isotherms were developed, and the lability of these metals was estimated by DTPA extraction following their sorption. Sorption of all metals was higher in the fluvial than in the calcareous soil. Sorption of Cu and Pb was stronger than that of Cd, Ni, and Zn in all soils. Biosolids application (2.5%) reduced the sorption of all metals especially Cu and Pb (28–43%) in both soils (especially the calcareous soil) at the lower added metal concentrations (50 and 100 mg L−1). However, it increased the sorption of all metals especially Pb and Cu in both soils (especially the calcareous soil; 15.5-fold for Cu) at the higher added concentrations (250 and 300 mg L−1). Nickel showed the highest lability followed by Cd, Zn, and Pb in both soils. Biosolids increased the lability of the sorbed Ni in the fluvial soils at all added concentrations and the lability of Cd, Pb, and Zn at 50 mg L−1, but decreased the lability of Cd, Pb, and Zn at 250 and 300 mg L−1 in both soils. We conclude that at low loading rate (e.g., 50 mg L−1) biosolids treatment might increase the lability and environmental risk of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. However, at high loading rate (e.g., 300 mg L−1) biosolids may be used as an immobilizing agent for Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn and mobilizing agent for Ni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1379
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Bioavailability
  • Desorption
  • Heavy metals
  • Retention
  • Sewage sludge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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