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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2009 Jun 15;334(2):132-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2009.02.059. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

Experimental study and modelling of selenite sorption onto illite and smectite clays.

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CIEMAT, Departamento de Medioambiente Avenida Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


This study provides a large set of experimental selenite sorption data for pure smectite and illite. Similar sorption behavior existed in both clays: linear within a large range of the Se concentrations investigated (from 1x10(-10) to 1x10(-3) M); and independent of ionic strength. Selenite sorption was also analysed in the illite/smectite system with the clays mixed in two different proportions, as follows: (a) 30% illite-70% smectite and (b) 43% illite-57% smectite. The objective of the study was to provide the simplest model possible to fit the experimental data, a model also capable of describing selenite sorption in binary illite/smectite clay systems. Selenite sorption data, separately obtained in the single mineral systems, were modeled using both a one- and a two-site non-electrostatic model that took into account the formation of two complexes at the edge sites of the clay. Although the use of a two-site model slightly improved the fit of data at a pH below 4, the simpler one-site model reproduced satisfactorily all the sorption data from pH 3 to 8. The complexation constants obtained by fitting sorption data of the individual minerals were incorporated into a model to predict the adsorption of selenium in the illite/smectite mixtures; the model's predictions were consistent with the experimental adsorption data.


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