Distribution and speciation of Sb and toxic metal(loid)s near an antimony refinery and their effects on indigenous microorganisms

Soo Chan Park, Maxim I. Boyanov, Kenneth M. Kemner, Edward J. O'Loughlin, Man Jae Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Although several studies have investigated the effects of Sb contamination on surrounding environments and indigenous microorganisms, little is known about the effect of co-contamination of Sb and toxic metal(loid)s. In this study, the occurrence of Sb and other toxic metal(loid)s near an operating Sb refinery and near-field landfill site were investigated. Topsoil samples near the refinery had high Sb levels (∼3250 mg kg−1) but relatively low concentrations of other toxic metal(loid)s. However, several soil samples taken at greater depth from the near-field landfill site contained high concentrations of As and Pb, as well as extremely high Sb contents (∼21,400 mg kg−1). X-ray absorption fine structure analysis showed that Sb in the soils from both sites was present as Sb(V) in the form of tripuhyite (FeSbO4), a stable mineral. Three-dimensional principal coordinate analysis showed that microbial community compositions in samples with high toxic metal(loid)s concentrations were significantly different from other samples and had lower microbial populations (∼104 MPN g−1). Sequential extraction results revealed that Sb is present primarily in the stable residual fraction (∼99 %), suggesting low Sb bioavailability. However, microbial redundancy analysis suggested that the more easily extractable Pb might be the major factor controlling microbial community compositions at the site.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123625
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Sb distribution
  • Sb refining procedure
  • Soil microbial community
  • Tripuhyite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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