A comparative study of the BCR sequential and batch extractions for wastes and waste-amended soil.
The use of standard soil tests to assess waste materials has become a common practice in waste management. However, the suitability of using standard soil tests on waste materials is questionable. Therefore, this investigation was undertaken to compare commonly used chemical extraction methods for their ability to extract elements from soil, waste, and soil-waste mixtures. This was carried out by: · Assessing the effects of extraction time on the extractability of Al,Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, S, Si, and Zn; · Assessing the comparability between single and sequential extraction. Two manganese rich wastes namely electro-winning waste (EW) and silicate-rich smelter slag (SS) and an acid soil (Inanda, Ia) were used for this study. Waste amended soils were obtained by incubating the EW and SS with Ia soil at field capacity at a rate of 20 g kg-1 and 120 g kg-1 soil respectively, and were sampled at day 0, 7, 28, 56, and 140. The effect of extraction time was assessed on the EW, SS, and Ia soil with carbonated water used in the acid rain test conducted at 16, 20, 30, and 50 hours. The equilibration time was different for different materials and elements. The concentration of Al and Zn did not change appreciably with increasing extraction time in the EW. Similar results were found for Mg, S, and Si in the SS and S in the Ia soil. This was attributed to ‘equilibrium’ being reached before 16 hours. The equilibration time of 20 hours which would release the exchangeable and specifically adsorbed elements was obtained for Co, Mg, Si, S, and Mn in the EW. The concentration of Ca decreased with extraction time in the EW and was attributed to readsorption. The concentration of Ca and Mn in the SS and Al, Fe, and Si in the Ia soil increased with extraction time and the ‘equilibrium’ was not reached even after 50 hours. This was attributed to the release of elements due to dissolution of minerals. In the comparison between Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential and batch extraction, the concentrations of Ca, Co, Mg, Mn, and S were higher in batch extraction than in sequential extraction, particularly for the EW and the EW treated soils. This was possibly caused by the readsorption of released elements during water extraction. On the contrary, sequential extraction had higher concentration of Al and Fe compared to batch extraction for the EW, Ia soil, SS treated soils, and EW treated soils. These were attributed to a continued desorption of elements and dissolution of minerals due to exposed surfaces which occurs in sequential extraction. The comparison between single and sequential extraction for the BCR sequential extraction showed that hydroxylammonium chloride (HAC) applied in sequential extraction had higher concentration of Al, Co, Fe, Pb, and Zn than the single HAC extraction. This was probably due to incomplete dissolution of minerals, precipitation of amorphous minerals, and readsorption of released elements occurring for a single HAC extraction. These were minimised for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) extraction and hence comparability between single and sequential H2O2 extraction was observed. This was probably due to the presence of complexing agent in the extracting reagent which would minimise the formation of secondary precipitates and hence, improved dissolution of minerals was obtained. Similarly, the concentrations of elements were comparable between single and sequential aqua regia extraction. These results indicated that comparability is improved between single and sequential extraction when aggressive conditions are used. The results from this investigation indicated that when chemical extraction methods are applied to wastes, the effects of the waste properties on the results of extraction need to be well understood. Consequently, when the chemical extraction methods are used in waste management scenarios certain modifications might have to be made. These modifications include the use of a high solution:solid ratio and an extracting solution which has high complexing ability