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Sewage sludge heavy metal analysis and agricultural prospects for Fiji

Mani, Janice and Maata, Matakite and Mani, Francis S. (2017) Sewage sludge heavy metal analysis and agricultural prospects for Fiji. UNSPECIFIED.

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Insoluble residues produced in Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) as by products are known as sewage sludge (SS). Land application of SS, particularly in agricultural lands, is becoming an alternative disposal method in Fiji. However, currently there is no legislative framework governing its use. SS together with its high nutrient and organic matter contents, constitutes some undesired pollutants such as heavy metals, which may limit its extensive use. The focus of this study therefore was to determine the total concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni and Mn in the SS produced at the Kinoya WWTP (Fiji) and in the non-fertile soil amended with the SS at 20, 40, 60, 80% application rates and in the control (100% Soil). The bioavailable heavy metals were also determined as it depicts the true extent of metal contamination. The treatment mixtures were then used to cultivate cabbage plants in which the total heavy metal uptake was investigated. Total Zn (695.6 mg/kg) was present in the highest amounts in the 100% SS (control), followed by Pb (370.9 mg/kg), Mn (35.0 mg/kg), Cu (65.5 mg/kg), Cr (20.5 mg/kg) and finally Cd (13.5 mg/kg) and hence a similar trend was seen in all treatment mixtures. The potential mobility of sludgeborne heavy metals can be classified as Ni > Cu > Cd > Zn > Mn > Cr > Pb. Total metal uptake in plant leaves and stems showed only the bioavailable metals Cu, Cd, Zn and Mn, with maximum uptake occurring in the leaves. Ni, despite being highly mobile was not detected, due to minute concentrations in the SS treatments. Optimum growth occurred in the 20 and 40% SS treatments. However maximum Cu and Mn uptake occurred in the 40% SS treatment thereby making the 20% treatment the most feasible. Furthermore the total and bioavailable metal concentrations observed were within the safe and permitted limits of the EEC and USEPA legislations.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Janice Mani
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 22:27
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 22:27

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