Regular articles

Preliminary investigation of phosphorus adsorption onto two types of iron oxide-organic matter complexes

Jinlong Yan , Tao Jiang , Ying Yao , Song Lu , Qilei Wang , Shiqiang Wei


Received April 06, 2015,Revised August 24, 2015, Accepted August 27, 2015, Available online October 28, 2015

Volume 28,2016,Pages 152-162

Iron oxide (FeO) coated by natural organic matter (NOM) is ubiquitous. The associations of minerals with organic matter (OM) significantly changes their surface properties and reactivity, and thus affect the environmental fate of pollutants, including nutrients (e.g., phosphorus (P)). In this study, ferrihydrite/goethite-humic acid (FH/GE–HA) complexes were prepared and their adsorption characteristics on P at various pH and ionic strength were investigated. The results indicated that the FeO–OM complexes showed a decreased P adsorption capacity in comparison with bare FeO. The maximum adsorption capacity (Qmax) decreased in the order of FH (22.17 mg/g) > FH-HA (5.43 mg/g) > GE (4.67 mg/g) > GE-HA (3.27 mg/g). After coating with HA, the amorphous FH–HA complex still showed higher P adsorption than the crystalline GE–HA complex. The decreased P adsorption observed might be attributed to changes of the FeO surface charges caused by OM association. The dependence of P adsorption on the specific surface area of adsorbents suggests that the FeO component in the complexes is still the main contributor for the adsorption surfaces. The P adsorptions on FeO–HA complexes decreased with increasing initial pH or decreasing initial ionic strength. A strong dependence of P adsorption on ionic strength and pH may demonstrate that outer-sphere complexes between the OM component on the surface and P possibly coexist with inner-sphere surface complexes between the FeO component and P. Therefore, previous over-emphasis on the contributions of original minerals to P immobilization possibly over-estimates the P loading capacity of soils, especially in humic-rich areas.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3