Does ochre have the potential to be a remedial treatment for As-contaminated soils?

J.A. Olimah, L.J. Shaw, Mark Edward Hodson

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Ochre is an iron oxyhydroxide-rich waste that accumulates in water bodies associated with disused mines. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the potential of four different ochres to be used as remedial agents for As contaminated soils. The ochres removed As from solution (200 and 500 mg L-1) in adsorption experiments at pH 3 and 8 and when added to As contaminated soil (5 % w/w) significantly reduced As release to solution. In both these experiments the highest surface area ochres performed best. The impact of ochre amendments on uptake of As from soil by plants and humans and release of As to ground water was assessed in a year-long incubation. Ochres increased soil pH and reduced CaCl2 extractable As but had no consistent effect on plant growth, plant As uptake or As extraction in physiologically based extraction tests. Ochre may be better used for water treatment than soil remediation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© Elsevier 2015. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Environmental Pollution. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.


  • arsenic
  • ochre
  • contaminated soil
  • incubation
  • bioassays

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