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Sutkowska, K. & L. Teper (2012). Impact of Solvay waste alkalinity on the leaching of heavy metals in a 100 year-old landfill. World Congress on the New Technologies (NewTech 2015). Barcelona. Paper 169, 169.1-169.4.




The present study was conducted in the northern outskirts of the Jaworzno town situated in the Upper Silesia, the most industrialized part of Poland, where the over hundred-year-old landfill site of soda ash waste is situated. The 10 waste samples and 10 topsoil samples were collected. Value of the pH and the total load of selected heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Pb and Zn) were determined for both types of samples. The atomic emission spectrometer ICP-OES was used to geochemical measurements. The wastes are characterised by low to very strong alkalinity, while the topsoil is near-neutral to slightly alkaline. Total loads of the selected heavy metals in the waste samples present the highest level in surface layer with lower but almost unchanged values through the profile length, caused by very strong alkalinity. Contents of Cr, Cd, Pb and Zn recognized in the meadow topsoil are significantly lower than those in the uppermost layer of the wastes. The alkaline nature of the post-Solvay tailings is what is responsible for limited heavy metal migration to adjacent soils.