Sorption of copper, zinc and lead on soil mineral phases

Péter Sipos, Tibor Németh, Viktória Kovács Kis, Ilona Mohai

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98 Citations (Scopus)


Soil mineral phases play a significant role in controlling heavy metal mobility in soils. The effective study of their relation needs the integrated use of several analytical methods. In this study, analytical electron microscopy analyses were combined with sequential chemical extractions on soils spiked with Cu, Zn and Pb. Our aims were to study the metal sorption capacity of soil mineral phases and the effect of presence of iron oxide and carbonate on this property of soil minerals. Copper and Pb were found to be characterized by higher and stronger sorption on the studied samples than Zn. Only the former two metals showed significant differences in their immobilized metal amounts on the studied samples and soil mineral particles. Highest metal amounts were sorbed on the swelling clay mineral particles (smectites and vermiculites), but iron-oxide phases may also have similar lead sorption capacity. Alkaline conditions due to the carbonate content of soils resulted both in increased sorption on the mineral particles for Cu and in enhanced role of precipitation for all the studied metals. On the other hand, the intimate association of phyllosilicates and iron resulted in significant increase in metal sorption capacity of the given particle. The results of sequential extractions could be successfully completed by the analytical electron microscopy analyses for studying the sorption capacity of discrete mineral particles. Their integrated use helps us in better understanding the heavy metal-mineral interactions in soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Analytical electron microscopy
  • Clay minerals
  • Heavy metals
  • Iron oxides
  • Sequential extraction
  • Soil carbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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