Repeated annual paper mill and alkaline residuals application affects soil metal fractions


Gagnon, B., Robichaud, A., Ziadi, N., Karam, A. (2014). Repeated annual paper mill and alkaline residuals application affects soil metal fractions. Journal of Environmental Quality, [online] 43(2), 517-527.


The application of industrial residuals in agriculture may raise concerns about soil and crop metal accumulation. A complete study using a fractionation scheme would reveal build-up in metal pools occurring after material addition and predict the transformation of metals in soil between the different forms and potential metal release into the environment. An experimental study was conducted from 2000 to 2008 on a loamy soil at Yamachiche, Quebec, Canada, to evaluate the effects of repeated annual addition of combined paper mill biosolids when applied alone or with several liming by-products on soil Cu, Zn, and Cd fractions. Wet paper mill biosolids at 0, 30, 60, or 90 Mg ha-1 and calcitic lime, lime mud, or wood ash, each at 3 Mg ha-1 with 30 Mg paper mill biosolids ha-1, were surface applied after seeding. The soils were sampled after 6 (soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]) and 9 [corn (Zea mays L.)] crop years and analyzed using the Tessier fractionation procedure. Results indicated that biosolids addition increased exchangeable Zn and Cd, carbonate-bound Cd, Fe-Mn oxide-bound Zn and Cd, organically bound Cu and Zn, and total Zn and Cd fractions but decreased Fe-Mn oxide-bound Cu in the uppermost 30-cm layer. With liming by-products, there was a shift from exchangeable to carbonate-bound forms. Even with very small metals addition, paper mill and liming materials increased the mobility of soil Zn and Cd after 9 yr of application, and this metal redistribution resulted into higher crop grain concentrations. © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

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