Recycling of ecocompatible treated red mud and compost from SS-MSW: Examples of use on sediment and mine soil samples

P. Massanisso, E. Nardi, R. Pacifico, L. D'Annibale, C. Cremisini, C. Alisi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Ecological restoration of polluted areas is an increasing necessity for many countries around the world. Current technologies used to recover polluted soil and sediment are in general too costly. Recently, on-site approaches such as metal trapping and phytoremediation have attracted attention for their ability to meet criteria of economicity. Metal trapping is based on the diminution of metal mobility and availability as a result of applying soil amendments, for example particular industrial residues. Phytoremediation is an appealing environmental cleanup technology but a deeper understanding of the complex interactions in the soil-plant system is still needed. In this study, the effect of adding treated red mud (BauxsolTM - material with the potential to immobilise metal) on mine soil and on sediment (from a volcanic coastal lagoon in Southern Italy) and of adding both red mud and compost (produced from Source- Separated Municipal Solid Waste) on trace elements fractionation and mobility, have been investigated. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) was used as a plant model to follow any change in matrices phytotoxicity: seedlings were transplanted in pots containing the contaminated mine soil or sediment and a mixture of the investigated matrices with different percentages of treated red mud and compost. Plant growth was studied also by controlling the total protein content, biomass and enzyme activity. The knowledge of trace elements mobility and "speciation" in contaminated soils and sediments is an important requisite for any further environmental evaluation and these features can be evaluated through leaching tests or by "sequential extraction procedure". In this work, total concentration of selected trace elements, their fractionation by sequential extraction procedure (BCR standardised) and leaching batch tests using a kinetic approach, were studied. The most evident result in the soil trials was that the utilization of amendments, used both separately and in a mixture, always improved the growth of barley plants. In particular, barley seedlings were practically not able to grow on the polluted mine soil and the simple adding of red mud resulted in a significant improvement in plant development. An even more drastic improvement was obtained with the addition of compost and compost plus treated red mud. In the sediment trials, the best yield in plant growth was obtained in the pot with the addition of treated red mud alone. The necessity of a delicate compromise between the maintaining of an acceptable plant viability and the control of metal mobility seems to be achievable through a careful balancing of the percentages of compost and red mud utilized as amendments. © 2009 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecycling: New Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Massanisso, P., Nardi, E., Pacifico, R., D'Annibale, L., Cremisini, C., & Alisi, C. (2008). Recycling of ecocompatible treated red mud and compost from SS-MSW: Examples of use on sediment and mine soil samples. In Recycling: New Research Nova Science Publishers, Inc..