Zinc adsorption effects on arsenite oxidation kinetics at the birnessite-water interface

Laura E. Power, Yuji Arai, Donald L. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arsenite is more toxic and mobile than As(V) in soil and sediment environments, and thus it is advantageous to explore factors that enhance oxidation of As(III) to As(V). Previous studies showed that manganese oxides, such as birnessite (δ-MnO2), directly oxidized As(III). However, these studies did not explore the role that cation adsorption has on As(III) oxidation. Accordingly, the effects of adsorbed and nonadsorbed Zn on arsenite (As(III)) oxidation kinetics at the birnessite-water interface were investigated using batch adsorption experiments (0.1 g L-1; pH 4.5 and 6.0; I = 0.01 M NaCl). Divalent Zn adsorption on synthetic δ-MnO 2 in the absence of As(III) increased with increasing pH and caused positive shifts in electrophoretic mobility values at pH 4-6, indirectly suggesting inner-sphere Zn adsorption mechanisms. Arsenite was readily oxidized on birnessite in the absence of Zn. The initial As(III) oxidation rate constant decreased with increasing pH from 4.5 to 6.0 and initial As(III) concentrations from 100 to 300 μM. Similar pH and initial As(III) concentration effects were observed in systems when Zn was present (i.e., presorbed Zn prior to As(III) addition and simultaneously added Zn-As(III) systems), but As(III) oxidation reactions were suppressed compared to the respective control systems. The suppression was more pronounced when Zn was presorbed on the δ-MnO 2 surfaces as opposed to added simultaneously with As(III). This study provides further understanding of As(III) oxidation reactions on manganese oxide surfaces under environmentally applicable conditions where metals compete for reactive sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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