[Continuous remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil by co-cropping system enhanced with chelator]

Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2014 Nov;35(11):4305-12.
[Article in Chinese]


In order to elucidate the continuous effectiveness of co-cropping system coupling with chelator enhancement in remediating heavy metal contaminated soils and its environmental risk towards underground water, soil lysimeter (0.9 m x 0.9 m x 0.9 m) experiments were conducted using a paddy soil affected by Pb and Zn mining in Lechang district of Guangdong Province, 7 successive crops were conducted for about 2.5 years. The treatments included mono-crop of Sedum alfredii Hance (Zn and Cd hyperaccumulator), mono-crop of corn (Zea mays, cv. Yunshi-5, a low-accumulating cultivar), co-crop of S. alfredii and corn, and co-crop + MC (Mixture of Chelators, comprised of citric acid, monosodium glutamate waste liquid, EDTA and KCI with molar ratio of 10: 1:2:3 at the concentration of 5 mmol x kg(-1) soil). The changes of heavy metal concentrations in plants, soil and underground water were monitored. Results showed that the co-cropping system was suitable only in spring-summer seasons and significantly increased Zn and Cd phytoextraction. In autumn-winter seasons, the growth of S. alfredii and its phytoextraction of Zn and Cd were reduced by co-cropping and MC application. In total, the mono-crops of S. alfredii recorded a highest phytoextraction of Zn and Cd. However, the greatest reduction of soil Zn, Cd and Pb was observed with the co-crop + MC treatment, the reduction rates were 28%, 50%, and 22%, respectively, relative to the initial soil metal content. The reduction of this treatment was mainly attributed to the downwards leaching of metals to the subsoil caused by MC application. The continuous monitoring of leachates during 2. 5 year's experiment also revealed that the addition of MC increased heavy metal concentrations in the leaching water, but they did not significantly exceed the III grade limits of the underground water standard of China.

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry
  • China
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Groundwater / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Sedum / metabolism*
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Zea mays / metabolism*


  • Chelating Agents
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants