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Assessing the influence of natural zeolite on toxic heavy metals immobilization and their transfer into Zea mays L.

Wubishet Legese
Abi M. Taddesse
Kibebew Kibret
Lemma Wogi


ABSTRACT. This research presents the efficiency of surfactant-modified (SMNZ) and unmodified natural-zeolite (UNZ) in the immobilization of Cr3+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ in the soil system. Phillipsite is identified as a major component of the host zeolite. Soil mixed with 20% UNZ retained the highest amount of all metals on the top layer of the soil-zeolite column. The lowest transfer of metals into the maize crop was observed at 30 mg of UNZ/kg soil. The experimental conditions such as pH, dose, stirring speed, contact time, and initial metal ions concentration showed significant effect on adsorption of Cr3+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ onto both unmodified and modified zeolite (phillipsite). The maximum adsorption (mg/kg) onto control soil, soil mixed with SMNZ and UNZ was 67.1, 90.9, 151.5 for Cr3+, 84.8, 120.5, 238.1 for Pb2+, 83.3, 116.3 and 212.8 for Cd2+ respectively. Thus, the use of natural zeolite, particularly UNZ has an important role in controlling the mobility of Cr3+, Pb2+, and Cd2+ metal ions in the soil system and thus their transfer to plant system.

KEY WORDS: Zeolite, Immobilization, Heavy metals, Column, Pot trial, Batch

Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2023, 37(6), 1351-1368. 

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eISSN: 1726-801X
print ISSN: 1011-3924