Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Sewage sludge re-used in agriculture has to be stabilized and is often stored for several months before land spreading. Stabilization treatment may affect the behaviour of heavy metals such as Cu, which is an element potentially toxic to the environment. In the present study, the chemical forms of copper have been investigated in heaps of limed and unlimed sludge coming from the wastewater treatment plant of Roselies (Belgium). These limed and unlimed aerobically digested sludges were stored during 4 mo in controlled conditions close to field ones. The sequential extraction procedure developed by Tessier was used to determine the copper chemical forms of representative samples taken in the outer shell and in the depth of the heaps. The physico-chemical properties (pH, organic matter, dry matter and temperature) of these samples were also monitored. This study shows that liming transforms part of organically-bound copper into both exchangeable and residual copper. These changes mainly occur during the first 2 wk of storage. After several months of storage, copper passes from the residual fraction to the exchangeable and oxide fractions. During the whole experiment, changes occur faster in the outer shell than in the depth of the heaps. Thus, we demonstrate that the distribution of the copper forms depends on the storage time and it is different in the outer shell from that in the depth of the heaps. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.