Organic soil additives for the remediation of cadmium contaminated soils and their impact on the soil-plant system: A review

Yasir Hamid, Lin Tang, Bilal Hussain, Muhammad Usman, Qiang Lin, Muhammad Saqib Rashid, Zhenli He, Xiaoe Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Immobilization is among the most-suitable strategies to remediate cadmium (Cd) contaminated sites. Organic additives (OAs) have emerged as highly efficient and environment-friendly immobilizers to eradicate Cd contamination in a wide range of environments. This review article is intended to critically illustrate the role of different OAs in Cd immobilization and to highlight the key findings in this context. Owing to the unique structural features (high surface area, cation exchange capacity (CEC), presence of many functional groups), OAs have shown strong capability to remediate Cd polluted soils by adsorption, electrostatic interaction, complexation and precipitation. Research data is compiled about the efficiency of different OAs (bio-waste, biochar, activated carbon, composts, manure, and plant residues) applied alone or in combination with other amendments in stabilization and renovation of contaminated sites. In addition to their role in remediation, OAs are widely advocated for being classical sources of essential plant nutrients and as agents to improve the soil health and quality which has also been focused in this review. OAs may contain considerable amounts of metals and therefore it becomes essential to assess their final contribution. Elimination of Cd contamination is essential to attenuate the contaminant effect and to produce the safe food. Therefore, deployment of environment-friendly remediation strategies (alone or in combination with other suitable technologies) should be adopted especially at early stages of contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136121
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2020


  • Animal waste
  • Biochar
  • Metal uptake
  • Precipitation
  • Soil amelioration
  • Stabilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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