Carbonate adsorption on goethite in competition with phosphate.

R. Rahnemaie, T. Hiemstra, W.H. van Riemsdijk

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Competitive interaction of carbonate and phosphate on goethite has been studied quantitatively. Both anions are omnipresent in soils, sediments, and other natural systems. The PO4¿CO3 interaction has been studied in binary goethite systems containing 0¿0.5 M (bi)carbonate, showing the change in the phosphate concentration as a function of pH, goethite concentration, and carbonate loading. In addition, single ion systems have been used to study carbonate adsorption as a function of pH and initial (H)CO3 concentration. The experimental data have been described with the charge distribution (CD) model. The charge distributions of the inner-sphere surface complexes of phosphate and carbonate have been calculated separately using the equilibrium geometries of the surface complexes, which have been optimized with molecular orbital calculations applying density functional theory (MO/DFT). In the CD modeling, we rely for phosphate on recent parameters from the literature. For carbonate, the surface speciation and affinity constants have been found by modeling the competitive effect of CO3 on the phosphate concentration in CO3¿PO4 systems. The CO3 constants obtained can also predict the carbonate adsorption in the absence of phosphate very well. A combination of inner- and outer-sphere CO3 complexation is found. The carbonate adsorption is dominated by a bidentate inner-sphere complex, (FeO)2CO. This binuclear bidentate complex can be present in two different geometries that may have a different IR behavior. At a high PO4 and CO3 loading and a high Na+ concentration, the inner-sphere carbonate complex interacts with a Na+ ion, probably in an outer-sphere fashion. The Na+ binding constant obtained is representative of Na¿carbonate complexation in solution. Outer-sphere complex formation is found to be unimportant. The binding constant is comparable with the outer-sphere complexation constants of, e.g., SO2¿4 and SeO2¿4.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • surface structural approach
  • aqueous-solution interface
  • charge-distribution
  • vibrational spectroscopy
  • sulfate adsorption
  • pb(ii) sorption
  • ion adsorption
  • natural-waters
  • alpha-feooh
  • atr-ftir


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