Cadmium Leachability and Microbial Population Dynamics in a Stabilized and Bioaugmented Model Contaminated Soil

U. E. Duru
A. Al-Tabbaa

DOI: 10.2190/ES.32.2.b


This article presents a laboratory study on the consequences of the application of combined soil stabilization and bioaugmentation in the remediation of a model contaminated soil. Stabilization and bioaugmentation are two techniques commonly applied independently for the remediation of heavy metal and organic contamination respectively. However, for a cocktail of contaminants combined treatments are currently being considered. The model soil was contaminated with a cocktail of organics and heavy metals based on the soil and contaminant conditions in a real contaminated site. The soil stabilization treatment was applied using either zeolite or green waste compost as additives and a commercially available hydrocarbon degrading microbial consortium was used for the bioaugmentation treatment. The effects of stabilization with or without bioaugmentation on the leachability of cadmium and copper was observed using an EU batch leaching test procedure and a flow-through column leaching test, both using deionized water at a pH of 5.6. In addition, the population of hydrocarbon degrading microorganisms was monitored using a modified plate count procedure in cases where bioaugmentation was applied. It was found that while the stabilization treatment reduced the metal leachability by up to 60%, the bioaugmentation treatment increased it by up to 100% Microbial survival was also higher in the stabilized soil samples.

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