Final Report: Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment

EPA Grant Number: R825549C016
Subproject: this is subproject number 016 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825549
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC
Center Director: Erickson, Larry E.
Title: Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment
Investigators: Clevenger, Thomas E. , Hinderberger, Ed
Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: February 1, 1989 through February 1, 1992
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil/Water , Land and Waste Management


The objective of this study was to determine the effect on the mobility of the lead when sewage sludge/fly ash is used as a method of reclaiming Superfund metal contaminated sites.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Through the use of a mixture of sludge and fly ash, one can increase the organic content of the doil. As a result, plant cover can be established, pH is increased, and the mobility and availability of metals are controlled.

The use of this mixture was reported to increase vegetation growth at a Superfund zinc smelter contaminated site in Pennsylvania. However, it was unknown as to the effects of the cover material over the long term, especially as to the mobility of the metals in the contaminated soils. In order to assess these possible effects, a method of speciation by sequential extraction was developed. Speciation methods, as well as total metal analysis, were used to evaluate the potential for mobilization of the metals. Because the chemical form is critical in predicting mobility and toxicity, it was felt that total metal analysis would not provide enough information.

A sequential extraction method was developed which would selectively extract several different metal compounds. Table 1 shows the distribution of Pb, Zn, and Cd with different extractants used in this speciation method. The Cd and Zn compounds behaved similarly to Pb compounds.

An old abandoned lead tailings pile (about 400 acres) in Desloge, Missouri was selected for the study site. This site was unusual because of the presence of a pristine Ozark stream running along the edge of the tailings pile and the use of part of the site as a sanitary landfill. Speciation results indicated that the predominant forms of lead in the Desloge tailings were oxide and sulfide. X-ray analysis indicated that dolomite was the primary constituent. Most samples from the site were found to be hazardous using EPA's TCLP test. Column studies were conducted to determine the effect of adding fly ash/sewage sludge to the Desloge lead tailings.

Results indicated that the fly ash changed the availability of the metals, primarily to unavailable forms. However, it was observed that at the high pH (12) which was produced by the leachate from the fly ash/tailings columns, the leachate contained 5-20 ppm lead while the control column with only tailings gave a leachate of about 0.1 ppm (pH 7). Lead is forming a hydroxide complex and actually is more soluble at pH 12 then pH 7. With the indication that Pb's mobility increases with higher pH,-the use of sludge/fly ash would not seem appropriate on a lead tailing site and growing crops in this mixture was not pursued.

Because a landfill was located at the Desloge site it was decided to expand the research to determine the effect of this activity. No suitable leachate could be collected, therefore, a synthetic one was prepared using a composition reported in the literature. The synthetic leachate was very effective in leaching the lead from the tailings. The neutralizing of the dolomite seems to be a slow reaction and the lead may be transported before the dolomite can neutralize the leachate and precipitate the lead.

Because of the usefulness of the sequential extraction method at the Desolge site, tailings samples from the Tri-State mining area (Southeast Missouri) were analyzed. The ore in this region had high zinc and cadmium concentrations, as well as lead. Speciation was done for all of these metals. While PbS and PbO were the predominant forms of lead in the Old Lead Belt (Southeast Missouri), the results from the Tri-State area indicated that several different chemical forms of the metals were present. Some samples contained the more available forms, such as PbSo4, PbCO3 and PbO. Cadmium was often present as CdSO4.

A limitation of the sequential extraction method was found when soils were tested. When a soil sample was introduced to a solution of PbSO4 in MgCl2 the lead reabsorbed onto the soil. The same was found for PbO in NH4OAC. The first two fractions were the only ones affected by the reabsorption. The reabsorbed lead was found to redissolve in fraction 3 - Na4P2O7. The reabsorption of the PbSO4 and PbO was 75% for soils but only 20% for mine tailings samples.

The sequential extraction method developed during this project provides a useful method for indicating the availability of lead, cadmium and zinc, as long as one is aware of its limitations, especially the reabsorption problem.

The results have been presented at professional meetings and made available to other interested parties.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 8 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 904 publications 230 publications in selected types All 182 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Clevenger TE. Use of sequential extraction to evaluate the heavy-metals in mining wastes. Water Air and Soil Pollution 1990;50(3-4):241-254. R825549C016 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

heavy metals, fly ash, sewage sludge, stabilization, speciation., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, State, Analytical Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Bioremediation, Ecology and Ecosystems, fate and transport, migration, contaminant transport, revegetation, Pennsylvania, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, pesticides, fly ash, adsorption, microflora, bioremediation of soils, biotechnology, contaminants in soil, Zinc, chemical kinetics, sewage sludge, minig waste, Missouri (MO), phytoremediation, heavy metal contamination, mining waste, contaminated soils, Pentachlorophenol, PA

Relevant Websites: Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1989
  • 1990

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825549    HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825549C006 Fate of Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Plant/Soil Systems
    R825549C007 Experimental Study of Stabilization/Solidification of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C008 Modeling Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate and Pesticide Contamination in the Subsurface Environment
    R825549C009 Vadose Zone Decontamination by Air Venting
    R825549C010 Thermochemical Treatment of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C011 Development, Characterization and Evaluation of Adsorbent Regeneration Processes for Treament of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C012 Computer Method to Estimate Safe Level Water Quality Concentrations for Organic Chemicals
    R825549C013 Removal of Nitrogenous Pesticides from Rural Well-Water Supplies by Enzymatic Ozonation Process
    R825549C014 The Characterization and Treatment of Hazardous Materials from Metal/Mineral Processing Wastes
    R825549C015 Adsorption of Hazardous Substances onto Soil Constituents
    R825549C016 Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment
    R825549C017 Metal Recovery and Reuse Using an Integrated Vermiculite Ion Exchange - Acid Recovery System
    R825549C018 Removal of Heavy Metals from Hazardous Wastes by Protein Complexation for their Ultimate Recovery and Reuse
    R825549C019 Development of In-situ Biodegradation Technology
    R825549C020 Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment
    R825549C021 Deep-Rooted Poplar Trees as an Innovative Treatment Technology for Pesticide and Toxic Organics Removal from Soil and Groundwater
    R825549C022 In-situ Soil and Aquifer Decontaminaiton using Hydrogen Peroxide and Fenton's Reagent
    R825549C023 Simulation of Three-Dimensional Transport of Hazardous Chemicals in Heterogeneous Soil Cores Using X-ray Computed Tomography
    R825549C024 The Response of Natural Groundwater Bacteria to Groundwater Contamination by Gasoline in a Karst Region
    R825549C025 An Electrochemical Method for Acid Mine Drainage Remediation and Metals Recovery
    R825549C026 Sulfide Size and Morphology Identificaiton for Remediation of Acid Producing Mine Wastes
    R825549C027 Heavy Metals Removal from Dilute Aqueous Solutions using Biopolymers
    R825549C028 Neutron Activation Analysis for Heavy Metal Contaminants in the Environment
    R825549C029 Reducing Heavy Metal Availability to Perennial Grasses and Row-Crops Grown on Contaminated Soils and Mine Spoils
    R825549C030 Alachlor and Atrazine Losses from Runoff and Erosion in the Blue River Basin
    R825549C031 Biodetoxification of Mixed Solid and Hazardous Wastes by Staged Anaerobic Fermentation Conducted at Separate Redox and pH Environments
    R825549C032 Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil
    R825549C033 Impact of Soil Microflora on Revegetation Efforts in Southeast Kansas
    R825549C034 Modeling the use of Plants in Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances
    R825549C035 Development of Electrochemical Processes for Improved Treatment of Lead Wastes
    R825549C036 Innovative Treatment and Bank Stabilization of Metals-Contaminated Soils and Tailings along Whitewood Creek, South Dakota
    R825549C037 Formation and Transformation of Pesticide Degradation Products Under Various Electron Acceptor Conditions
    R825549C038 The Effect of Redox Conditions on Transformations of Carbon Tetrachloride
    R825549C039 Remediation of Soil Contaminated with an Organic Phase
    R825549C040 Intelligent Process Design and Control for the Minimization of Waste Production and Treatment of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C041 Heavy Metals Removal from Contaminated Water Solutions
    R825549C042 Metals Soil Pollution and Vegetative Remediation
    R825549C043 Fate and Transport of Munitions Residues in Contaminated Soil
    R825549C044 The Role of Metallic Iron in the Biotransformation of Chlorinated Xenobiotics
    R825549C045 Use of Vegetation to Enhance Bioremediation of Surface Soils Contaminated with Pesticide Wastes
    R825549C046 Fate and Transport of Heavy Metals and Radionuclides in Soil: The Impacts of Vegetation
    R825549C047 Vegetative Interceptor Zones for Containment of Heavy Metal Pollutants
    R825549C048 Acid-Producing Metalliferous Waste Reclamation by Material Reprocessing and Vegetative Stabilization
    R825549C049 Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Upward Mobilization and Photodegradation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Furans in Soil
    R825549C050 Evaluation of Biosparging Performance and Process Fundamentals for Site Remediation
    R825549C051 Field Scale Bioremediation: Relationship of Parent Compound Disappearance to Humification, Mineralization, Leaching, Volatilization of Transformaiton Intermediates
    R825549C052 Chelating Extraction of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Soils
    R825549C053 Application of Anaerobic and Multiple-Electron-Acceptor Bioremediation to Chlorinated Aliphatic Subsurface Contamination
    R825549C054 Application of PGNAA Remote Sensing Methods to Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Determination of Contaminant Profiles in Soils
    R825549C055 Design and Development of an Innovative Industrial Scale Process to Economically Treat Waste Zinc Residues
    R825549C056 Remediation of Soils Contaminated with Wood-Treatment Chemicals (PCP and Creosote)
    R825549C057 Effects of Surfactants on the Bioavailability and Biodegradation of Contaminants in Soils
    R825549C058 Contaminant Binding to the Humin Fraction of Soil Organic Matter
    R825549C059 Identifying Ground-Water Threats from Improperly Abandoned Boreholes
    R825549C060 Uptake of BTEX Compounds by Hybrid Poplar Trees in Hazardous Waste Remediation
    R825549C061 Biofilm Barriers for Waste Containment
    R825549C062 Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies
    R825549C063 Extension of Laboratory Validated Treatment and Remediation Technologies to Field Problems in Aquifer Soil and Water Contamination by Organic Waste Chemicals