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Kinetics of adsorption and redox processes on iron and manganese oxides : reactions of As(III) and Se(IV) at goethite and birnessite surfaces


Scott, Michael James (1991) Kinetics of adsorption and redox processes on iron and manganese oxides : reactions of As(III) and Se(IV) at goethite and birnessite surfaces. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/3617-qj61.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. Selenium and arsenic are naturally-occurring, non-metallic elements with complex chemical and biological behavior in aquatic environments. In this study, rates and mechanisms of adsorption, desorption, and electron transfer reactions involving selenium and arsenic oxyanions and two naturally occurring metal oxides, goethite ([...]-FeOOH) and birnessite ([...]-MnO2), have been investigated. Adsorption of Se(IV), As(III), and As(V) on goethite and of Se(IV) and As(III) on birnessite occurs within a time scale of minutes. Equilibrium is achieved within a few hours. Adsorption behavior can be described accurately with a surface complexation model. Goethite does not oxidize Se(IV) or As(III) in solution at pH .4 and above. However, redox products (Mn(II), Se(VI), As(V)) are observed when Se(IV) or As(III) is added to aqueous suspensions of birnessite. In the arsenite-birnessite system, the rate of As(V) appearance in solution is equal to the rate of As(III) disappearance from solution while the appearance of Mn(II) in solution is slightly slower. In the selenite-birnessite system, uptake of Se(IV) occurs in minutes. Extent of adsorption decreases with increasing pH. The appearance of measurable Se(VI) occurs slowly (time scale of days to weeks) and is a function of adsorbed selenite. This indicates that the rate of selenite oxidation by birnessite is limited by the rate of electron transfer. Rate data from both arsenic and selenium redox systems are successfully described by a reversible four-step kinetic model that accounts for adsorption of the reduced species, electron-transfer, release of the oxidized species, and release of reduced Mn(II). The data suggest that iron oxides provide an adsorptive sink for mobile Se and As oxyanions, while manganese oxides play a major role in accelerating the oxidation of Se(IV) and As(III). Results on the rates of key chemical processes affecting selenium and arsenic should be useful in understanding complex geochemical cycles and in finding solutions to problems in pollutant transport and accumulation in water-sediment systems.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Environmental Science and Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Environmental Science and Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Morgan, James J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Morgan, James J. (chair)
  • Patterson, Clair C.
  • Rossman, George Robert
  • Hoffmann, Michael R.
  • Brooks, Norman H.
Defense Date:26 September 1990
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12062006-131627
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4817
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:22 Dec 2006
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:29

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