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Characteristics of sewage sludge and distribution of heavy metal in plants with amendment of sewage sludge

Keywords: sewage sludge,characteristic,lixiviation test,pot experiments,land application

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In order to better understand land application of sewage sludge, the characterization of heavy metals and organic pollutants were investigated in three different sewage sludges in Shanghai City, China. It was found that the total concentrations of Cd in all of sewage sludge and total concentrations of Zn in Jinshan sewage sludge, as well as those of Zn, Cu, and Ni in Taopu sludge are higher than Chinese regulation limit of pollutants for sludge to be used in agriculture. Leachability of Hg in all of studied samples and that of Cd in Taopu sewage sludge exceed the limit values of waste solid extraction standard in China legislation. Based on the characteristics for three kinds of sewage sludge, a pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of soil amended with Quyang sewage sludge on the accumulation of heavy metal by Begonia semperflorens-hybr; Ophiopogon japonicus (L.F.) Ker-Gaw; Loropetalum chindense-var. rubrum; Dendranthema morifolium; Viola tricolor; Antirrhinum majus; Buxus radicans Sieb; Viburnum macrocephalum; Osmanthus fragrans Lour; Cinnamomum camphora siebold and Ligustrum lucidum ait. Results showed that 8 species of plant survived in the amended soil, and moreover they flourished as well as those cultivated in the control soil. The heavy metal concentration in plants varied with species, As, Pb, Cd and Cr concentration being the highest in the four herbaceous species studied, particularly in the roots of D. morifolium. These plants, however, did not show accumulator of As, Pb, Cd and Cr. The highest concentration of Ni and Hg was found in the roots of D. morifolium, followed by the leaves of B. semperflorens-hybr. Levels of Zn and Cu were much higher in D. morifolium than in the other plant species. D. morifolium accumulated Ni, Hg, Cu and Zn, which may contribute to the decrease of heavy metal contents in the amended soil. Treatment with sewage sludge did not significantly affect the uptake of heavy metals by the L. chindense-var. rubrum, however, it significantly affected the uptake of heavy metals by D. morifolium.


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