Interaction between calcium and phosphate adsorption on goethite

R.P.J.J. Rietra, T. Hiemstra, W.H. van Riemsdijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitatively, little is known about the ion interaction processes that are responsible for the binding of phosphate in soil, water, and sediment, which determine the bioavailability and mobility of phosphate. Studies have shown that metal hydroxides are often responsible for the binding of PO4 in soils and sediments, but the binding behavior of PO4 in these systems often differs significantly from adsorption studies on metal hydroxides in laboratory. The interaction between PO4 and Ca adsorption was studied on goethite because Ca can influence the PO4 adsorption equilibria. Since adsorption interactions are very difficult to discriminate from precipitation reactions, conditions were chosen to prevent precipitation of Ca-PO4 solids. Adsorption experiments of PO4 and Ca, individually and in combination, show a strong interaction between adsorbed Ca and PO4 on goethite for conditions below the saturation index of apatite. It is shown that it is possible to predict the adsorption and interaction of PO4 and Ca on electrostatic arguments using the model parameter values derived from the single-ion systems and without invoking ternary complex formation or precipitation. The model enables the prediction of the Ca-PO4 interaction for environmentally relevant calcium and phosphate concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3369-3374
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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