Application of activated sludge for improving iron-ore tailings

Ming Hung WONG, K.-W. LAI

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Iron-ore tailings of Ma On Shan, located on the eastern coast of Tolo Harbour, Hong Kong, are alkaline, high in heavy metal concentration and low in plant nutrients. The poor edaphic conditions are reflected by the sparse vegetation growing on the tailings. Improvements of the iron-ore tailings and their leachate water quality were investigated by laboratory column studies in which sludge-treated and untreated tailings were leached daily for 50 days using de-ionized water. The up-grading of the tailings was further confirmed by a pot trial with sludge-treated and untreated materials in a glasshouse. There was a general positive growth response to the application of sludge on the two species of grasses tested, Agropyron smithii and Buchloe dactyloides. The present experiment has proved that the iron-ore tailings were improved by applying sludge. Land application of sludge in this context not only has potential for improving the tailings, but will also solve part of the sludge disposal problem, especially in a densely populated area such as Hong Kong. Copyright © 1982 Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-97
JournalReclamation & Revegetation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1982


Wong, M.-H., & Lai, K.-W. (1982). Application of activated sludge for improving iron-ore tailings. Reclamation & Revegetation Research, 1(1), 83-97.


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