Use of Adsorption Mechanism to Decrease Heavy Metal Mobility in Soil

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been involved in the recent food safety and beverage discussion about elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in foods such as apple juice, honey and rice. Some forms of arsenic have been determined a human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), making it imperative that food quality and the associated threat to human health be studied further. Some highway construction materials such coal fly ash could be a source of these toxic elements. The environmental engineering approach to this topic is not limited to, but focuses on heavy metal (i.e. arsenic, selenium) mobility and transport in the environment, exposure and corresponding human health impacts. Missouri Science and Technology (S&T) is part of a small number of engineering institutions that are currently researching these topics. If current research trends indicate impending roles of environmental engineering, one forthcoming role will be food quality assurance. The assurance methods explored in this research includes the modification of soil chemistry and competitive adsorption states. This chemistry is based on testing the ability adsorption material (i.e. iron oxide) to fixate arsenic and other heavy metals to effectively decrease mobility and transport into the environment. This application will be tested under varying adsorbent applications to optimize adsorbent added per decreased heavy metal mobility and improve the role of environmental engineering in food quality assurance. This research is related to the Northwest University Transportation Center (NUTC) Theme #1: Advanced materials. Fly ash and other recycled construction materials could be used as novel construction materials for highway, to reduce cost, improve structure stability, and reduce carbon emission. However, heavy metals could be leached from these materials. Ultimately these heavy metals will be accumulated by crops and impact human health. While this proposed research does not directly address the strength of the construction material, it does evaluate the resulted environmental and health impact related to the application of these materials, which is part of the NUTC theme #1.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla

    328 Butler-Carlton Hall
    1401 N. Pine Street
    Rolla, MO  United States  65401
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wang, Jianmin

  • Start Date: 20120801
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33591

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517412
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0014, 00039454
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2014 1:01AM