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Remediation of a historically Pb contaminated soil using a model natural Mn oxide waste

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clare McCannORCiD, Professor Neil GrayORCiD, Professor Russell DavenportORCiD, Dr Matthew WadeORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


A natural Mn oxide (NMO) waste was assessed as an in situ remediation amendment for Pb contaminated sites. The viability of this was investigated using a 10 month lysimeter trial, wherein a historically Pb contaminated soil was amended with a 10% by weight model NMO. The model NMO was found to have a large Pb adsorption capacity (qmax 346 ± 14 mg g-1). However, due to the heterogeneous nature of the Pb contamination in the soils (3650.54 - 9299.79 mg kg-1), no treatment related difference in Pb via geochemistry could be detected. To overcome difficulties in traditional geochemical techniques due to pollutant heterogeneity we present a new method for unequivocally proving metal sorption to in situ remediation amendments. The method combines two spectroscopic techniques; namely electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Using this we showed Pb immobilization on NMO, which were Pb free prior to their addition to the soils. Amendment of the soil with exogenous Mn oxide had no effect on microbial functioning, nor did it perturb the composition of the dominant phyla. We conclude that NMOs show excellent potential as remediation amendments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McCann CM, Gray ND, Tourney J, Davenport RJ, Wade MJ, Finlay N, Hudson-Edwards KA, Johnson KL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemosphere

Year: 2015

Volume: 138

Pages: 211-217

Print publication date: 01/11/2015

Online publication date: 11/06/2015

Acceptance date: 17/05/2015

Date deposited: 12/06/2015

ISSN (print): 0045-6535

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1298

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.05.054


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Funder referenceFunder name
EP/E0441/17UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
EP/1025782/1UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council