Arsenate adsorption mechanisms at the allophane - Water interface

Yuji Arai, D. L. Sparks, J. A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated arsenate (As(V)) reactivity and surface speciation on amorphous aluminosilicate mineral (synthetic allophane) surfaces using batch adsorption experiments, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The adsorption isotherm experiments indicated that As(V) uptake increased with increasing [As(V)]0 from 50 to 1000 μM (i.e., Langmuir type adsorption isotherm) and that the total As adsorption slightly decreased with increasing NaCl concentrations from 0.01 to 0.1 M. Arsenate adsorption was initially (0-10 h) rapid followed by a slow continuum uptake, and the adsorption processes reached the steady state after 720 h. X-ray absorption spectroscopic analyses suggest that As(V) predominantly forms bidentate binuclear surface species on aluminum octahedral structures, and these species are stable up to 11 months. Solubility calculations and powder XRD analyses indicate no evidence of crystalline AI-As(V) precipitates in the experimental systems. Overall, macroscopic and spectroscopic evidence suggest that the As(V) adsorption mechanisms at the allophane-water interface are attributable to ligand exchange reactions between As(V) and surface-coordinated water molecules and hydroxyl and silicate ions. The research findings imply that dissolved tetrahedral oxyanions (e.g., H2PO42- and H2AsO42-) are readily retained on amorphous aluminosilicate minerals in aquifer and soils at near neutral pH. The innersphere adsorption mechanisms might be important in controlling dissolved arsenate and phosphate in amorphous aluminosilicate-rich low-temperature geochemical environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2537-2544
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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