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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Beneficial Use of FGD-gypsum to Re-vegetate Mercury Mine Wastes

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-12000-040-30-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2013
End Date: Nov 19, 2013

To 1) investigate methods to evaluate fertility and toxicity of mercury (Hg) contaminated soil materials in order to select remediation amendments which could achieve persistent remediation of the potential toxicity and revitalization of the soil to prevent risks to crops, wildlife, wildlife and humans; 2) Test the benefit of using Fluidized Bed Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) in remediation of soils from Hg-contaminated sites in the laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field; 3) Investigate whether methods used to re-vegetate Hg-contaminated soil materials are effective in reducing emission of Hg vapor to the atmosphere.

Metal contaminated soils from specific contaminated sites of interest to funding Cooperators will be supplied or collected. The soils will be analyzed for total and phytoavailable metals concentrations, pH, organic matter, nutrients, and other factors which might affect fertility or toxicity. Methods to estimate the soluble or phytoavailable fraction of soil metals, or the immediately potentially toxic part of the soil metals will also be applied. After evaluation of the composition, and in consideration of the locality and climate where remediation is to be achieved, and likely remediation amendments available at the location, growth of appropriate plant species will be tested in pot experiments to identify particularly effective remediation amendment combinations. Plant samples and soils conditions after growing plants will be evaluated regarding metal phytoavailability and potential phytotoxicity or deficiencies. In the case of Hg, not only is Hg uptake and toxicity important, but potential emission of Hg vapor will be evaluated.

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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