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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2007 May 15;309(2):419-28. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

Sorption of two aromatic acids onto iron oxides: experimental study and modeling.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour l'Environnement, LCPME, UMR 7564 CNRS-Université Henri Poincaré, 405, rue de Vandoeuvre, 54600 Villers-les-Nancy, France.


The transport of aromatic carboxylate compounds in the environment can be strongly influenced by adsorption onto certain minerals, such as iron oxides and hydroxides, found in ground water and soils. Batch experiments with five iron oxides were conducted to quantify the contributions to adsorption from different iron mineral surfaces and compare adsorption characteristics of selected organic acids (gentisic acid (GA) and 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid (HNA)). Because of their widespread abundance in soils and sediments, goethite, lepidocrocite, ferrihydrite, hematite, and magnetite were investigated. Sorption of two organic acids onto iron oxides was examined over a wide range of conditions (pH, ionic strength, and sorbate concentration). Specific surface area and mineral surface charge proved be important for the adsorption of these compounds. The sorption isotherm was described well by the Tempkin equation for both organic acids, with the adsorption constant higher for HNA than GA. For modeling the sorption edges of ferrihydrite and hematite, surface reactions involving the formation of mononuclear (1:1) surface species were proposed. These results indicate that the generalized two-layer model, with the assumption of homogeneous surface sites, could predict sorption on iron oxides over a range of pH conditions. The results of this study suggest that the mineralogy of the iron oxides and the pH value should be considered when predicting sorption of aromatic acids onto iron oxides and their fate in the soil and the environment.

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