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Zeolitized tuffs in pedotechniques to improve soil resilience against the impact of treatment by municipal sewage: balance of nutrient and noxious cations

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Two zeolitized tuffs (ZTs), viz. a Neapolitan yellow tuff (NYT) and a clinoptilolite-bearing tuff (ZCL), were tested as pedotechnical materials to improve soil resilience against the impact of treatment by a 'dirty' municipal sewage system (DSW). Soils (surface horizon) were a sandy, alkaline Entisol (Typic Xeropsamment), and a sandy-loam, sub-acidic Alfisol (Ultic Palexeralf). Results showed that the presence of ZTs resulted in several favourable effects. Electrical conductivity (EC) decreased and pH was buffered. Ammonium was selectively taken up from the DSW, making the zeolitized tuffs almost saturated by NH4 +, by exchanging both beneficial cations, such as K+ and Ca2+, thus improving their potential availability to plants, and undesirable cations such as Na+, thereby hindering the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) increase and concurrent soil salinization-alkalinization. At the same time, NH4 + was stored as a potentially slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. The mobility of Pb, Cu and Zn dropped off to a large extent. NYT produced the best effects, and the Entisol gained the greatest benefit from treatments.
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Keywords: ION EXCHANGE REACTIONS; MUNICIPAL SEWAGE TREATMENT; NATURAL ZEOLITES; PEDOTECHNIQUE; SOIL RESILIENCE; WASTE WATER; ZEOLITE TUFF

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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