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(P262) Influence of an abandoned acid plant on soil microbial activity.
Edenborn, Harry*,1, Garvin, Rebecca1, Provins, Rachel1, Fulford, David2, 1 National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Pittsburgh, PA, USA2 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA, USA
ABSTRACT- Sulfuric acid used to clarify kerosene at oil refineries in Titusville, PA in the 1800s was recycled at a nearby acid plant. The plant removed tar from the partially neutralized acid and restored the acid to full strength by distillation. In this study, we examined the partially vegetated site of an acid plant that was active between ca. 1870 and 1917. The soil at the site was highly contaminated with up to 43,000 mg/kg total lead, apparently due to the prolonged use of lead distillation pans and lead-lined storage tanks. In addition, tar from old storage tanks was present on the site. Acid extraction procedures showed that the bioavailability of the lead at the site ranged from 5 to 44% of the total lead concentrations. Surficial soil samples were taken in a grid pattern over the study site and the following biological variables were measured: total bacteria and fungi, soil DNA, lipase, arylsulphatase, phosphomonoesterase, and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis activity. These variables were compared and contrasted and showed a direct correlation between biological activity and bioavailable lead contamination. Preliminary immobilization experiments using added phosphate showed that phosphate rock was as effective as triple super phosphate fertilizer in reducing the percentage of bioavailable lead at this site.
Key words: lead, soil, pyromorphite
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