Effects of natural and calcined oyster shells on Cd and Pb immobilization in contaminated soils

Yong Sik Ok, Sang Eun Oh, Mahtab Ahmad, Seunghun Hyun, Kwon Rae Kim, Deok Hyun Moon, Sang Soo Lee, Kyoung Jae Lim, Weon Tai Jeon, Jae E. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


In Korea, soils adjacent to abandoned mines are commonly contaminated by heavy metals present in mine tailings. Further, the disposal of oyster shell waste by oyster farm industries has been associated with serious environmental problems. In this study, we attempted to remediate cadmium (Cd)- and lead (Pb)-contaminated soils typical of those commonly found adjacent to abandoned mines using oyster shell waste as a soil stabilizer. Natural oyster shell powder (NOSP) and calcined oyster shell powder (COSP) were applied as soil amendments to immobilize Cd and Pb. The primary components of NOSP and COSP are calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and calcium oxide (CaO), respectively. X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscope analyses conducted in this study revealed that the calcination of NOSP at 770°C converted the less reactive CaCO3 to the more reactive CaO. The calcination process also decreased the sodium content in COSP, indicating that it was advantageous to use COSP as a liming material in agricultural soil. After 30 days of incubation, we found that the 0.1 N HCl extractable Cd and Pb contents in soil decreased significantly as a result of an increase in the soil pH and the formation of metal hydroxides. COSP was more effective in immobilizing Cd and Pb in the contaminated soil than NOSP. Overall, the results of this study suggest that oyster shell waste can be recycled into an effective soil ameliorant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1308
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (Project number: 2009-0071439). Instrumental analysis was supported by a grant from the Institute of Environmental Research, the Research Institute of Agricultural Science, and the Central Laboratory of Kangwon National University, Korea. The authors also thank Jung Eun Lim for conducting incubation experiments.


  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Oyster shell
  • Soil quality
  • Stabilization
  • Waste recycling
  • pH

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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