Ligand and Charge Distribution (LCD) model for the description of fulvic acid adsorption to goethite

L.P. Weng, W.H. van Riemsdijk, L.K. Koopal, T. Hiemstra

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66 Citations (Scopus)


The LCD model (Ligand and Charge Distribution) has recently been proposed to describe the adsorption of humic substances to oxides, in which the CD-MUSIC model and the NICA model for ion binding to respectively oxides and humic substances are integrated. In this paper, the LCD model is improved by applying the ADAPT model (ADsorption and AdaPTation) to calculate the equilibrium distribution of the humic substances based on the change of the average chemical state of the particles. The improved LCD model is applied to calculate the adsorption of fulvic acid (Strichen) to goethite, in which it is assumed that the carboxylic type of groups of fulvic acid can form innersphere complexes with the surface sites. The charge of the carboxylic groups in the innersphere complexes is distributed between the 0- and d-plane, whereas the charge of the other carboxylic and phenolic groups is located in the d-plane. The average distribution of the carboxylic and phenolic groups among their various chemical states (carboxylic groups: innersphere complex, protonated and deprotonated; phenolic groups: protonated and deprotonated) depends on pH, ionic strength and loading, and are the outcome of the model. The calculation shows that the LCD model can describe sufficiently the effects of pH, ionic strength and loading on the adsorption of fulvic acid, using one adjustable parameter (log over(K, ¿)S, 1). The model calculations indicate that the chemical complexation between fulvic acid and goethite is the main driving force of the adsorption, while the electrostatic repulsion between the particles and the surface is the major limiting factor for further adsorption
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-457
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • natural organic-matter
  • nica-donnan model
  • metal-ion binding
  • electrical double-layer
  • interacting chain molecules
  • surface structural approach
  • oxide-water interface
  • humic substances
  • variable-charge
  • free-energy

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