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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Oct 16;46(20):11119-27. doi: 10.1021/es302558m. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Solubility of iron from combustion source particles in acidic media linked to iron speciation.

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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


In this study, iron solubility from six combustion source particles was investigated in acidic media. For comparison, a Chinese loess (CL) dust was also included. The solubility experiments confirmed that iron solubility was highly variable and dependent on particle sources. Under dark and light conditions, the combustion source particles dissolved faster and to a greater extent relative to CL. Oil fly ash (FA) yielded the highest soluble iron as compared to the other samples. Total iron solubility fractions measured in the dark after 12 h ranged between 2.9 and 74.1% of the initial iron content for the combustion-derived particles (Oil FA > biomass burning particles (BP) > coal FA). Ferrous iron represented the dominant soluble form of Fe in the suspensions of straw BP and corn BP, while total dissolved Fe presented mainly as ferric iron in the cases of oil FA, coal FA, and CL. Mössbauer measurements and TEM analysis revealed that Fe in oil FA was commonly presented as nanosized Fe(3)O(4) aggregates and Fe/S-rich particles. Highly labile source of Fe in corn BP could be originated from amorphous Fe form mixed internally with K-rich particles. However, Fe in coal FA was dominated by the more insoluble forms of both Fe-bearing aluminosilicate glass and Fe oxides. The data presented herein showed that iron speciation varies by source and is an important factor controlling iron solubility from these anthropogenic emissions in acidic solutions, suggesting that the variability of iron solubility from combustion-derived particles is related to the inherent character and origin of the aerosols themselves. Such information can be useful in improving our understanding on iron solubility from combustion aerosols when they undergo acidic processing during atmospheric transport.

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