Chemical stabilisation of lead in shooting range soils with phosphate and magnesium oxide: Synchrotron investigation

Peter Sanderson, Ravi Naidu, Nanthi Bolan, Jung Eun Lim, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Three Australian shooting range soils were treated with phosphate and magnesium oxide, or a combination of both to chemically stabilize Pb. Lead speciation was determined after 1 month ageing by X-ray absorption spectroscopy combined with linear combination fitting in control and treated soils. The predominant Pb species in untreated soils were iron oxide bound Pb, humic acid bound Pb and the mineral litharge. Treatment with phosphate resulted in substantial pyromorphite formation in two of the soils (TV and PE), accounting for up to 38% of Pb species present, despite the addition of excess phosphate. In MgO treated soils only, up to 43% of Pb was associated with MgO. Litharge and Pb hydroxide also formed as a result of MgO addition in the soils. Application of MgO after P treatment increased hydroxypyromorphite/pyromorphite formation relative to soils teated with phosphate only. X-ray diffraction and Scanning electron microscopy revealed PbO precipitate on the surface of MgO.Soil pH, (5.3-9.3) was an important parameter, as was the solubility of existing Pb species. The use of direct means of determination of the stabilisation of metals such as by X-ray absorption spectroscopy is desirable, particularly in relation to understanding long term stability of the immobilised contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 5
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by CRC CARE. The authors thank Enzo Lombi for assistance with collecting data at the Australian Synchrotron.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bioavailability
  • Immobilisation
  • Lead
  • Linear combination fitting
  • X-ray adsorption spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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