Suitability of Wastes from Olive-Oil Industry for Initial Reclamation of a Pb/Zn Mine Tailing

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Courtesy of Springer

An incubation experiment was conducted to evaluate the ameliorating role of two organic amendments—olive-mill solid wastes and compost from olive-mill solid wastes- in the ecological reclamation of a lead/Zn-mine tailing collected in southern Spain. Four enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase, β,-glucosidase, urease and phosphatase) and soluble and AB-DTPA extractable Pb and Zn and were periodically determined. High concentrations of Pb (5394 mg kg−,1) and Zn (9607 mg kg−,1), mainly in insoluble forms, were recorded in the lead/zinc-mine tailing, as well as very low biochemical activity. Application of the compost from olive-mill solid waste stimulated microbial activity and the biogeochemical cycles into the mine tailing because of the initially increased dehydrogenase, β,-glucosidase and urease activities, which tended to decline or remained constant during the incubation period. By contrast, these enzyme activities were scarcely affected by the incorporation of the olive-mill solid wastes because this olive-organic amendment contains extractable polyphenols (36 g kg−,1), which inhibit these enzyme activities. Phosphatase activity was enhanced by the application of both olive-organic amendments, especially when the olive-mill solid waste was added to the mine tailing. Amounts of soluble and AB-DTPA-extractable Pb and Zn in the mine tailing were increased by the application of the olive-mill solid waste, and to a lesser degree, by the compost from this olive waste. This fact could restrict the use of these olive-organic amendements as useful materials in reclamation of lead/zinc-mine tailings. Nevertheless, the increases of available lead and zinc would represent an advantage where Pb/Zn-mine tailings are reclaimed by phytoextraction, effectively reducing the metal pollution in these mining wastes.

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