Mitigation of the mobilization and accumulation of toxic metal(loid)s in ryegrass using sodium sulfide

Mitigation of the mobilization and accumulation of toxic metal(loid)s in ryegrass using sodium sulfide, Zhang, Han, Li You, Li Ronghua, Wu Weilong, Abdelrahman Hamada, Wang Jianxu, Al-Solaimani Samir G., Antoniadis Vasileios, Rinklebe Jörg, Lee Sang Soo, et al. , Science of The Total Environment, 2024, Volume 909, p.168387, (2024) copy at


Remediation of soils contaminated with toxic metal(loid)s (TMs) and mitigation of the associated ecological and human health risks are of great concern. Sodium sulfide (Na2S) can be used as an amendment for the immobilization of TMs in contaminated soils; however, the effects of Na2S on the leachability, bioavailability, and uptake of TMs in highly-contaminated soils under field conditions have not been investigated yet. This is the first field-scale research study investigating the effect of Na2S application on soils with Hg, Pb and Cu contents 70-to-7000-fold higher than background values and also polluted with As, Cd, Ni, and Zn. An ex situ remediation project including soil replacement, immobilization with Na2S, and safe landfilling was conducted at Daiziying and Anle (China) with soils contaminated with As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Notably, Na2S application significantly lowered the sulfuric-nitric acid leachable TMs below the limits defined by Chinese regulations. There was also a significant reduction in the DTPA-extractable TMs in the two studied sites up to 85.9 % for Hg, 71.4 % for Cu, 71.9 % for Pb, 48.1 % for Cd, 37.1 % for Zn, 34.3 % for Ni, and 15.7 % for As compared to the untreated controls. Moreover, Na2S treatment decreased the shoot TM contents in the last harvest to levels lower than the TM regulation limits concerning fodder crops, and decreased the TM root-to-shoot translocation, compared to the untreated control sites. We conclude that Na2S has great potential to remediate soils heavily tainted with TMs and mitigate the associated ecological and human health risks.



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