Changes of biochemical properties and heavy metal bioavailability in soil treated with natural liming materials

Samy A.M. Abd El-Azeem, Mahtab Ahmad, Adel R.A. Usman, Kwon Rae Kim, Sang Eun Oh, Sang Soo Lee, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the efficiency of naturally occurring lime-based waste materials (oyster shells, eggshells, and mussel shells) on immobilization of selected heavy metals (Cd and Pb) and a metalloid (As) in a contaminated agricultural soil. A 30-day incubation experiment was performed using soil mixture with natural liming materials or calcite (CaCO3) at 0, 1, 3, 5, and 10 wt %. Soil biochemical properties including pH, electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable cations, organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), microbial populations, and enzyme activities were determined to ensure the changes in soil quality during incubation. The results showed that the application of natural liming materials led to an increase in soil pH similar to that of CaCO3. Soil concentrations of Cd, Pb, and As extracted with 0.1 or 1 M HCl, and diethylene triamine pentacetic acid (DTPA) were decreased significantly after adding liming materials, accompanied by increased microbial population and enzyme activities of dehydrogenase, phosphatase, β-glucosidase, and arylsulfatase. Additionally, eggshells and mussel shells induced significant increases in OM and TN in the soil. Application of natural liming materials offers a cost-effective way to immobilize heavy metals and metalloids in soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3411-3420
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by Basic Science Research Foundation through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1B3001409). This study was also partly supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment as ‘‘The GAIA project’’ in Korea. Instrumental analysis was performed at the Korea Basic Science Institute, the Institute of Environmental Research and the Central Laboratory of Kangwon National University in Korea. Gratitude is expressed to Dr. Hesham Mohamed Abdouat Washington State University who reviewed an early version of the manuscript.


  • Heavy metals
  • Immobilization
  • Remediation
  • Soil enzyme
  • Soil quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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