The Effect of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on Carbon Dynamics in Antimony-Contaminated Soil

Document Type : Research Paper


1 department of soil science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

3 Soil and Water Research Department, East Azerbaijan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Tabriz, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Razi, Kermanshah, Iran


Heavy metals affect the dynamics of organic carbon by contaminating soil and altering its chemical and biological properties. For this purpose, a split factorial experiment was conducted with three replications. Experimental factors included Antimony at four levels (0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg), TiO2 nanoparticles as an adsorbent at three levels (0, 0.25, and 0.5 % by weight), and time at eight levels (the first month to the eighth month). Results showed that the basal respiration decreased from the first month to the eighth month of incubation and the highest basal respiratory rate was obtained from the first month of incubation and the lowest one was belong to the eighth month of incubation with a significant difference of 27.81%. The highest and the lowest organic matter degradation rates were obtained in control and 50 mg/kg antimony without nanoparticle application with 16.57% difference. By increasing antimony levels, the rate of degradation of organic matter decreased sharply, but by increasing the levels of contaminant, the application of 0.5 % (w/w) nanoparticles caused to increase the rate of organic matter decomposition. The highest value of half-life and mean residence time of carbon in the soil were obtained from 50 mg/kg without adsorbent treatment and the lowest value was obtained from 25 mg/kg with 0.5% (w/w). According to the results of this study it can be stated that the application of 0.5 % (w/w) TiO2 adsorbent increased the rate of decomposition of organic matter but decreased the half-life and mean residence time of carbon in the soil. At the higher contaminant levels (100 mg/kg of antimony), compared to the lower levels (50 and 25 mg/kg), the adsorbent surface lost its efficiency because of saturation with the contaminant, therefore for higher level of contaminant application, higher level of adsorbent (more than the 0.5% (w/w) TiO2) should be used.


Alef, K. and Nannipieri, P. (1995). Methods in applied soil microbiology and biochemistry (No. 631.46 M592ma). Academic Press.
Arunachalam, K., Singh, N. D. and Arunachalam, A. (2003). Decomposition of leguminous crop residues in a ‘jhum’cultivation system in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 166(6), 731-736.
Aryabod, S., Fotovat, A., Khorasani, R. and Entezari, M. (2017). Cadmium adsorption on TiO2 Nanoparticles in soil suspensions. Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research, 48(2), 349-358. (In Farsi)
Bagherifam, S., Brown, T. C., Fellows, C. M. and Naidu, R. (2019). Bioavailability of Arsenic and Antimony in Terrestrial Ecosystems: A Review. Pedosphere, 29(6), 681-720.
Baldock, J. A. (2007). Composition and cycling of organic carbon in soil. In: Nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems (pp. 1-35). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Bigdeli, Z., Golchin, A. and Mansouri, T. (2018). Mineralization of organic carbon and nitrogen of wheat residues in lead contaminated soils. Journal of Water and Soil Science, 21(4), 215-228. (In Farsi)
Bigdeli, Z., Golchin, A. and Shafiei, S. (2016). Mineralization of organic carbon and nitrogen of wheat straw residue in cadmium contaminated soils. Journal of Water and Soil, 31(2), 581-596. (In Farsi)
Bremner, J. M. and Mulvaney, C. S. (1996). Kjeldhal Method. Method of Soil Analysis Part-2: Chemical and Microbiological Properties, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, 903-948.
Chapman, H. D. (1965). Cation Exchange Capacity. In: Methods of Soil Analysis- Part 2. Black C.A. (ed.). American Society of Agronomy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, pp. 891-901.
Chen, D. Z., Zhang, J. X. and Chen, J. M. (2010). Adsorption of methyl tert-butyl ether using granular activated carbon: Equilibrium and kinetic analysis. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 7(2), 235-242.
Chen, S., Huang, Y., Zou, J. and Shi, Y. (2013). Mean residence time of global topsoil organic carbon depends on temperature, precipitation and soil nitrogen. Global and Planetary Change, 100, 99-108.
Falsolyman, M. and Hajipour, M. (2015). The spatial-temporal analysis of anthropogenic hazards management of mines in Iran. Journal of Spatial Analysis of Environmental Risks, 2(2), 33-51. (In Farsi)
Gai, N., Yang, Y., Li, T., Yao, J., Wang, F. and Chen, H. (2011). Effect of lead contamination on soil microbial activity measured by microcalorimetry. Chinese Journal of Chemistry, 29(7), 1541-1547.
Gee, G. W. and Bauder, J. W. (1986). Physical and mineralogical methods. In: Klute, A. (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis, Part 1. Soil Science Society of America, Madison,WI, USA, pp. 383-411.
Golchin, A. (2016). Soil organic matter. Zanjan: Jahade Daneshgahi, 300p. (In Farsi)
Helmke P. A. and Sparks D. L. (1996). Lithium, Sodium and Potassium. In: Sparks D.L., Page A.L., Helmke P.A., Loeppert R.H., Sultanpour P.N., Tabatabai M.A., Jhonston C.T., and Sumner M.E. (ed.), Methods of Soil Analysis- part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties. Soil Science Society of America, WI, USA, pp. 551-574.
Isermeyer, H. (1952). Eine einfache Methode zur Bestimmung der Bodenatmung und der Karbonate im Boden. Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernährung, Düngung, Bodenkunde, 56(1‐3), 26-38.
Karimi, A. and Khodaverdiloo, H. (2014). Soil biologic quality as influenced by lead (Pb) contamination under Centaurea (Centaurea cyanus) vegetation. Journal of Soil Management and Sustainable Production, 4(1), 127-144. (In Farsi)
Khadem Moghadam Igdelou, N., Golchin, A. and Rouhi Kelarlou, T. (2020). Antimony and Its Effects on the Components of Environment. Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research, 50(9), 2373-2399. (In Farsi)
Khadem Moghadam, N, Hatami, M., Rezaei, S., Bayat, M. and Lajayer, B. A. (2019). Induction of plant defense machinery against nanomaterials exposure. In: Advances in Phytonanotechnology (pp. 241-263). Academic Press.
Lata, S. and Samadder, S. R. (2016). Removal of arsenic from water using nano adsorbents and challenges: a review. Journal of Environmental Management, 166, 387-406.
Lindsay, W. L. and Norvell, W. A. (1978). Development of a DTPA Soil Test for Zinc, Iron, Manganese, and Copper. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 42(3), 421-428.
Loeppert R. H. and Suarez D. L. (1996). Carbonate and Gypsum. Publications from USDA Agricultural Research Service. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 504p.
Najafi, Z. and Golchin, A. (2017). The effects of soil moisture levels on organic phosphorus mineralization and rate constant of decomposition. Journal of Soil Management and Sustainable Production, 7(1), 39-54. (In Farsi)
Olsen, S. R. (1954). Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. USDA. Cire.939.U.S.Gov.Print office, Washington, DC.
Sheidai Karkaj, E., Sepehry, A., Barani, H. and Motamedi, J. (2017). Soil organic carbon reserve relationship with some soil properties in East Azerbaijan rangelands. Journal of Rangeland, 11(2), 125-138.
Shirani, H., Abolhasani Zeraatkar, M., Lakzian, A. and Akhgar, A. (2011). Decomposition rate of municipal wastes compost, vermi compost, manure and pistaco compost in different soil texture and salinity in laboratory condition. Journal of Water and Soil, 25(1), 84-93. (In Farsi)
Shrivastava, M., Srivastava, A., Gandhi, S., Roychoudhury, A., Kumar, A., Singhal, R. K., Jha, S. K. and Singh, S. D. (2019). Monitoring of engineered nanoparticles in soil-plant system: A review. Environmental Nanotechnology, Monitoring & Management, 100218.
Silveira, M. L., Reddy, K. R. and Comerford, N. B. (2011). Litter decomposition and soluble carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus release in a forest ecosystem. Open Journal of Soil Science, 1(03), 86.
Singh, Y., Singh, B. and Timsina, J. (2005). Crop residue management for nutrient cycling and improving soil productivity in rice-based cropping systems in the tropics. Advances in Agronomy. 85, 269-407.
Ungureanu, G., Santos, S., Boaventura, R. and Botelho, C. (2015). Arsenic and antimony in water and wastewater: Overview of removal techniques with special reference to latest advances in adsorption. Journal of Environmental Management, 151, 326–342.
Walky A. and Black I. A. (1934). An examination of Degtgareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid in soil analysis. 1. Experimental. Soil Science Society American Journal, 79, 459-465.
Wang, Q., He, M. and Wang, Y. (2011). Influence of combined pollution of antimony and arsenic on culturable soil microbial populations and enzyme activities. Ecotoxicology, 20(1), 9–19.
Xiao, E., Sun, W., Han, F., Sun, X., Xiao, T. and Li, B. (2019). Impacts of Arsenic and Antimony Co-Contamination on Sedimentary Microbial Communities in Rivers with Different Pollution Gradients. Microbial Ecology, (February), 1–15.
Zhang, J., Hao, Z., Zhang, Z., Yang, Y. and Xu, X. (2010). Kinetics of nitrate reductive denitrification by nanoscale zero-valent iron. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 88(6), 439-445.
Haris, Z. and Ahmad, I. (2017). Impact of metal oxide nanoparticles on beneficial soil microorganisms and their secondary metabolites. International Journal of Life-Sciences Scientific Research, 3, 1020-1030.
Comotto, M., Casazza, A. A., Aliakbarian, B., Caratto, V., Ferretti, M. and Perego, P. (2014). Influence of TiO2 nanoparticles on growth and phenolic compounds production in photosynthetic microorganisms. The Scientific World Journal, 2014.