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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 461468, 18 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/461468
Review Article

Nanoenhanced Materials for Reclamation of Mine Lands and Other Degraded Soils: A Review

Carbon Management & Sequestration Center, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, 210 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received 7 March 2012; Revised 14 May 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012

Academic Editor: William W. Yu

Copyright © 2012 Ruiqiang Liu and Rattan Lal. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Successful mine soil reclamation facilitates ecosystem recovery, minimizes adverse environmental impacts, creates additional lands for agricultural or forestry uses, and enhances the carbon (C) sequestration. Nanoparticles with extremely high reactivity and deliverability can be applied as amendments to improve soil quality, mitigate soil contaminations, ensure safe land–application of the conventional amendment materials (e.g., manures and biosolids), and enhance soil erosion control. However, there is no report on using nanoenhanced materials for mine soil reclamation. Through reviewing the up-to-date research results on using environment-friendly nanoparticles for agricultural soil quality improvement and for contaminated soil remediation, this paper synthesizes that these nanomaterials with high potentials for mine soil reclamation include zeolites, zero-valent iron nanoparticles, iron oxide nanoparticles, phosphate-based nanoparticles, iron sulfide nanoparticles and C nanotubes. Transport of these particles in the environment and their possible ecotoxicological effects are also discussed. Additionally, this article proposes a practical and economical approach to applying nanotechnology for mine soil reclamation: adding small amounts of nanoparticles to the conventional soil amendment materials and then applying the mixtures for soil quality improvements. Hence the cost of using nanoparticles is reduced and the benefits of both nanoparticles and the conventional amendment materials are harnessed.