Adding steel slag to the acidic contaminated mine soil can immobilize heavy metal ions, but immobilization persistence of the metal ions needs to be determined. In this study, dynamic column simulation experiments were set up to compare the immobilization persistence of Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn ions in original soil and with the addition of slag, lime or fly ash to the soil during a simulated 36-month of acid rain leaching. After adding slag and lime, the pH, organic matter content and cation exchange capacity of soil were significantly increased. Compared with the original soil, additions of slag and lime to the soil were able to persistently immobilize the metal ions, whereas fly ash additions had little effect. During simulation, the metal ion concentrations in the slag group leaching solution were essentially consistent with Standard IV for groundwater. The metal ions were immobilized to form instable hydroxides and stable fractions following adding slag to soil. The hydroxide could rerelease metal ions by acid rain leaching, part of which were re-immobilized into stable fractions by entering slag lattice and complexing with soil organic matter. Therefore, adding slag to soil can persistently immobilize metal ions for heavy metal-contaminated acidic mine soil.
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