Distribution of applied cadmium in different size fractions of soils after incubation
Onyatta, J O
Huang, P M
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The size fraction of soils is one of the important factors that influence the retention of heavy metals. The sorptive properties of soils for heavy metals are principally associated with clay and silt-size fractions. Phosphate fertilizers that are applied to highly weathered tropicalsoils contain a wide concentration range of cadmium (Cd) as an impurity. Tropical soils contain kaolinite and oxides of Al, Fe, and Mn, which have the ability to sorb Cd. However, the distribution of Cd in different size fractions and the chemical speciation of particulate-bound Cd in the clay size fractions when introduced to soil and allowed to incubate at field moisture capacity merits attention. Cadmium was, therefore, applied to selected surface Kenyan soils varying widely in physicochemical properties to investigate its distribution in different soil particle size fractions and the speciation of particulate-bound species in clay size fractions after incubation. The Cd content in different particle fractions was analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption technique after HF-HClO 4 digestion. The particulate-bound Cd species were investigated using chemical sequential extraction method. The study showed that clay size fraction of the natural and the Idaho monoammonium phosphate (MAP)-fertilizer or the Cd perchlorate-added MAP chemical reagent-treated soils contained the highest amount of the total Cd. However, silt and sand fractions of the treated soils also retained appreciable amounts of Cd. Speciation studies revealed that metal-organic complex-bound Cd was the most predominant compared to other particulate-bound Cd species in the clay size fractions of the soils treated with Idaho MAP fertilizer or the Cd perchlorate-added MAP chemical reagent. The distribution of total Cd in the different soil particle size fractions and the speciation of particulate-bound Cd in the clay size fractions varied with the soil type. The results indicate that clay size fractions can retain Cd making it less available; however, the influence of farming practices, which affect Cd mobility, should not be overlooked.