Mechanism of Selenite Removal by a Mixed Adsorbent Based on Fe−Mn Hydrous Oxides Studied Using X ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Natalia Chubar, Vasyl Gerda, Malgorzata Szlachta

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Selenium cycling in the environment is greatly controlled by various minerals, including Mn and Fe hydrous oxides. At the same time, such hydrous oxides are the main inorganic ion exchangers suitable (on the basis of their chemical nature) to sorb (toxic) anions, separating them from water solutions. The mechanism of selenite adsorption by the new mixed adsorbent composed of a few (amorphous and crystalline) phases [maghemite, MnCO3, and X-ray amorphous Fe(III) and Mn(III) hydrous oxides] was studied by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy [supported by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) data]. The complexity of the porous adsorbent, especially the presence of the amorphous phases of Fe(III) and Mn(III) hydrous oxides, is the main reason for its high selenite removal performance demonstrated by batch and column adsorption studies shown in the previous work. Selenite was bound to the material via inner-sphere complexation (via oxygen) to the adsorption sites of the amorphous Fe(III) and Mn(III) oxides. This anion was attracted via bidentate binuclear corner-sharing coordination between SeO3(2-) trigonal pyramids and both FeO6 and MnO6 octahedra; however, the adsorption sites of Fe(III) hydrous oxides played a leading role in selenite removal. The contribution of the adsorption sites of Mn(III) oxide increased as the pH decreased from 8 to 6. Because most minerals have a complex structure (they are seldom based on individual substances) of various crystallinity, this work is equally relevant to environmental science and environmental technology because it shows how various solid phases control cycling of chemical elements in the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13376-13383
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
Early online date17 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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