The influence of a composted biosolid from urban wastewater treatment on the retention and solubility of Cu, Pb or Zn added to a soil was studied by batch adsorption/desorption experiments, equilibrating both materials and their mixtures with solutions containing various metal concentrations. The composted biosolid adsorbed less Cu or Pb and slightly more Zn than the soil, and thus caused a noticeable decrease in the retention of Cu or Pb and an increase in Zn adsorption by soil-biosolid mixtures, but these effects in the mixtures were not additive for any metal. The pH effects were studied by means of (log metal concentration)/pH diagrams. It was shown that Cu behaviour was different from that of the other metals: the relation between pH and Cu concentrations suggested similar solubilities in the presence of the biosolid and the mixtures, whereas the biosolid-free soil gave data located on a region of the diagram corresponding to slightly lower solubility. In the case of Pb or Zn, the data for the biosolid were located in a region of the diagram corresponding to clearly lower solubilities than those for the biosolid/soil mixtures. It was concluded that the biosolid has little effect on metal solubility when it is mixed with the soil in the proportions used here. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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