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Peak, J. D., and D.L. Sparks. Mechanisms of selenate adsorption on iron oxides and hyroxides. Environ. Sci. Tech.36: 1460-1466.


Environ. Sci. Technol., 36 (7), 1460 -1466, 2002. 10.1021/es0156643 S0013-936X(01)05664-4

Web Release Date: February 20, 2002

Copyright 2002 American Chemical Society

Mechanisms of Selenate Adsorption on Iron Oxides and Hydroxides

D. Peak* and D. L. Sparks

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, 149 Townsend Hall, Newark, Delaware 19717-1303

Received for review August 24, 2001

Revised manuscript received January 2, 2002

Accepted January 4, 2002


Selenate (SeO42-) is an oxyanion of environmental importance because of its toxicity to animals and its mobility in the soil environment. It is known that iron(III) oxides and hydroxides are important sorbents for SeO42- in soils and sediments, but the mechanism of selenate adsorption on iron oxides has been the subject of intense debate. Our research employed Extended X-ray absorption fine structure and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies to determine SeO42- bonding mechanisms on hematite, goethite, and hydrous ferric oxide (HFO). It was learned that selenate forms only inner-sphere surface complexes on hematite but forms a mixture of outer- and inner-sphere surface complexes on goethite and HFO. This continuum of adsorption mechanisms is strongly affected by both pH and ionic strength. These results suggest that adsorption experiments should be conducted on several different iron oxides and over a wide range of reaction conditions to accurately assess the reactivity of oxyanions on iron oxides.

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