Remediation of heavy metals contaminated soils by ball milling

Selena Montinaro, Alessandro Concas, Massimo Pisu, Giacomo Cao
Rapport de recherche 07/09, CRS4, Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia, Number 07/09 - june 2007
In the present work, the use of ball milling reactors for the remediation of lead contaminated soils was investigated. Lead immobilization was achieved without the use of additional reactants but only through the exploitation of weak transformations induced on the treated soil by mechanical loads taking place during collisions among milling media. The degree of metal immobilization was evaluated by analyzing the leachable fraction of Pb(II) obtained through the synthetic precipitation leaching procedure. The reduction of leachable Pb(II) from certain synthetic soils i.e. bentonitic, sandy and kaolinitc ones, was obtained under specific milling regimes. For example, for the case of bentonitic soils characterized by a Pb(II) concentration in the solid phase equal to 954.4 mg kg-1, leachable Pb(II) was reduced, after 7 h of mechanical treatment, from 1.3 mg L-1 to a concentration lower than the USEPA regulatory threshold (i.e. 0.015 mg L-1 for drinkable water). Similar results were obtained for sandy and kaolinitic soils. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, electron dispersive spectroscopy and granulometric analyses revealed no significant alterations of the intrinsic character of sandy and bentonitic soils after milling except for a relatively small increase of particles size and a partial amorphization of the treated soil. On the other hand, the mechanical treatment caused the total amorphization of kaolinitic soil. The increase of immobilization efficiency can be probably ascribed to specific phenomena induced by mechanical treatment such as entrapment of Pb(II) into aggregates due to aggregation, solid diffusion of Pb(II) into crystalline reticulum of soil particles as well as the formation of new fresh surfaces (through particle breakage) onto which Pb(II) may be irreversibly adsorbed.

Références BibTex

  author       = {Montinaro, S. and Concas, A. and Pisu, M. and Cao, G.},
  title        = {Remediation of heavy metals contaminated soils by ball milling},
  institution  = {CRS4, Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia},
  number       = {07/09},
  month        = {june},
  year         = {2007},
  address      = {Cagliari, Italy},
  type         = {techreport},
  keywords     = {Ball milling; Soil remediation; Heavy metals; Immobilization},
  url          = {},

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