Leaching of boron through sewage sludge amended soil: the role of clinoptilolite

Bioresour Technol. 2004 Oct;95(1):11-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2004.01.015.


A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine the release of boron from soil-sewage sludge mixtures by leaching using a clinoptilolite type natural zeolite, before land application of the sewage sludge. Soil columns were filled up with the clinoptilolite soil after mixing with sewage sludge at a rate of 30 tons ha(-1) and with two different particle sizes (0.1-0.25 and 1.0-2.0 mm) of clinoptilolite each at the concentrations of 1% and 2%. The particle size and the application rate of clinoptilolite affected both boron leaching from soil compared to the control treatment (soil and sewage sludge mixture). The total soluble boron leached from a soil column varied from 66-92% depending on the applications of clinoptilolite and reached 96% for the control treatment, following application of 80 cm depth of water in all treatments. In the cases of the 1% application rate of 0.1-0.25 and 1-2 mm sized clinoptilolite 78% and 92% of the total boron leached, respectively. While at 2% application rate of 0.1-0.25 and 1-2 mm zeolite, 66% and 87% of total soluble boron leached, respectively. Boron concentrations in the soil layers increased as application rate increased and particle size of clinoptilolite decreased because of its high adsorption capacity. Adsorption isotherms indicated that clinoptilolite had a high adsorption capacity for boron compared to the sewage sludge and soil.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Boron / analysis
  • Boron / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Sanitary Engineering / methods*
  • Sewage*
  • Soil
  • Zeolites / chemistry*


  • Sewage
  • Soil
  • clinoptilolite
  • Zeolites
  • Boron