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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Kalbitz, K; Schwesig, D; Wang, W: Effects of platinum from vehicle exhaust catalyst on carbon and nitrogen mineralization in soils, The Science of the Total Environment, 405, 239-245 (2008)
There is strong evidence of continuously increasing contamination of soils with platinum group elements (PGE), in particular with platinum (Pt) from vehicle exhaust catalysts in roadside soils. However, knowledge about the effects of Pt contamination on soil processes is very limited. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the contamination of soils with Pt at realistic environmental levels leads to observable adverse effects on selected indicator parameters of the carbon and nitrogen turnover in soils. Incubation experiments with artificially contaminated soils and solutions containing dissolved organic matter (DOM) were carried out by the use of milled material from a Pt-containing vehicle exhaust catalyst. Interaction of the catalyst material with the soil resulted in a mobilization of Pt into the dissolved phase reaching up to 0.1% of the added Pt. The amount of Pt mobilization seemed to be mainly driven by the pH of the soil. Mineralization of carbon and nitrogen did not reveal any significant adverse effect of the Pt addition as compared to the control samples. Future studies dealing with Pt effects on soil processes should focus on environmental conditions favoring Pt mobilization, e.g. such as very low pH values or large concentrations of DOM.
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