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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Competitive Arsenate and Phosphate Adsorption on Ferrihydrite as Described by the CD-MUSIC Model

Gustafsson, Jon Petter; Antelo, Juan


The solubility and bioavailability of arsenic in the environment are to a large extent governed by adsorption reactionswith iron (hydr)oxides, the extent of which is affected by competitive interactions with other ions, for example, phosphate. Here,batch experiments were performed with ferrihydrite suspensions to determine the adsorption of arsenate [As(V)] and phosphate(PO4)atdifferent As(V)-PO4ratios. A surface complexation model based on the Charge Distribution MUltisite Ion Complexation(CD-MUSIC) concept (the"Ferrihydrite CD-MUSIC model") was developed to describe these interactions in a way consistent withresults from spectroscopic studies. For this purpose, several previously published data sets on As(V) and PO4adsorption inferrihydrite suspensions were reviewed, including a number of systems containing other major ions (CO32-and Ca2+), and newsurface complexation constants were derived. During model development, it was found that the inclusion of ternary complexes wasnot needed to describe the observed Ca2+-PO4interactions. For both As(V) and PO4, the resulting model predicts the presence ofcorner-sharing bidentate complexes as well as monodentate complexes, with the latter being important particularly at low pH. Theexperimental results showed that As(V) and PO4displayed similar adsorption patterns in the single-ion systems studied, which wereconducted using a constant anion-to-Fe ratio of 0.2. Even so, As(V) was preferentially adsorbed over PO4in competitive systems,particularly at low As(V)-to-PO4ratios when theKdvalues for As(V) were up to 2.1 times as high as those for PO4. The model,which described these patterns very well, suggests that adsorbed As(V) consists of a larger fraction of bidentate complexes than inthe case of PO4. This causes aflatter adsorption isotherm for As(V), which leads to a stronger As(V) adsorption as the As(V)-to-Feratio decreases, compared to that for PO4


ferrihydrite; phosphate; arsenate; surface complexation modeling; CD-MUSIC; competitive binding

Published in

ACS Earth and space chemistry
2022, volume: 6, number: 5, pages: 1397-1406

Authors' information

Gustafsson, Jon Petter (Gustafsson, Jon-Petter)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Antelo, Juan
University of Santiago De Compostela

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

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