This study was conducted in order to fight against pollution of the environment. The study concerns river sediment of the Seybouse River in northeastern Algeria. Northeastern Algeria is known for its various industries (steel, fertilizer, metal processing, etc), and the sediment deposited by the Seybouse River, is probably polluted by heavy metals.
For this study, we used two protocols of digestion of sediments, the first, using a mixture of hydrofluoric acid and perchloric acid, and the second, using aqua regia. The comparison of these two protocols will help us to find the best solubilization and thus facilitate the extraction and determination of heavy metals in sediment.
Before determining the concentration of some heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Mn, Sn, Ni, Cr, Pb and Cu), we first analyzed parameters of sediments such as pH and organic matter. We used atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) to measure these heavy metals. The functional groups characteristic of organic matter and particularly clays were identified by infrared spectroscopy.
The average concentrations of metals exceeded acceptable standards for sediment pollution with heavy metals. Maximum concentrations in mg/kg respectively of the elements studied (Fe, Zn, Mn, Sn, Ni, Cr, Pb and Cu) were, respectively, 2460.20 ± 74.8; 1140.65 ± 38.2; 3.60 ± 1.2; 1.20 ± 0.5; 16.80 ± 2.6; 9.50 ± 3.2; 476.31 ± 21.6 and 145.15 ± 35.2. These results clearly show that the sediments deposited by the Seybouse River are heavily polluted.
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