Faculty Publications

Title

Phosphorus sequestration in lake sediment with iron mine tailings

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Lakes, Nutrients, Phosphorus, Remediation, Sequestration, Soil, Wetlands

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Soil and Sediment Contamination

Volume

13

Issue

5

First Page

519

Last Page

529

Abstract

Internal phosphorus loading can lead to eutrophication in lakes when anoxic sediments release bioavailable phosphorus into the water column. In laboratory experiments, iron mine tailings helped to sequester phosphorus in sediment from a eutrophic lake. Phosphorus release from the sediments after extraction with distilled water or 0.02 N H2SO4 was significantly reduced when mine tailings were added (1:1 w/w), even when the system was anaerobic (∼1 mg O2/L). The degree of sequestration was enhanced when glucose (1% w/w) was added to stimulate the growth of microorganisms, suggesting that the process was microbially mediated. We suggest that oxidized iron in the mine tailings served as an electron sink for microbial respiration via dissimilatory Fe3+ reduction. The reduced iron released into solution sequestered phosphorus, either as it re-oxidized and formed hydrous ferric oxide complexes containing phosphorus (HFO-P), or through precipitation. Since mine tailings are inexpensive, they may prove useful for preventing phosphorus from entering surface waters, as well as reducing internal phosphorus loading.

Original Publication Date

9-30-2004

DOI of published version

10.1080/10588330490500455

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