Characterization of the Incorporation and Adsorption of Arsenate and Phosphate Ions into Iron Oxides in Aqueous Solutions
Kozo Shinoda, Takenori Tanno, Yuki Nakata, Shigeru Suzuki
This article provides an overview of the incorporation and adsorption of arsenate and phosphate into iron oxides formed in aqueous solutions. Although arsenic (As) and phosphorus (P) and belong to the same group in the periodic table, As is usually toxic, whereas P is a biological element. Arsenate and phosphate ions can be incorporated into iron oxides through different routes, depending on the solution conditions. In aqueous solutions, the chemical state of Fe in iron oxides is FeII (ferrous) or FeIII (ferric), that of As is AsIII (arsenite) and AsV (arsenate), and that of phosphorus is PV (phosphate). The composition and structure of iron oxides, including ferric oxyhydroxides and hydroxides formed in aqueous solutions, are affected by solution conditions such as the electrochemical potential, pH, temperature, and the chemical state and composition of the relevant elements. Moreover, arsenate and phosphate ions are usually adsorbed on the surface of iron oxides in aqueous solutions, but the incorporation and adsorption of arsenate and phosphate ions in iron oxides cannot be easily explained using simple thermodynamic models. This is because these characteristics are accompanied by different stages of coprecipitation, incongruent dissolution of multicomponent iron oxides, and so on. Since hydrated iron-oxide particles are often very fine and poorly crystallized, they are difficult to filter. However, it has been shown that coarse polyhedral particles of hydrated iron oxide can be synthesized by oxidizing FeII ions. In addition, the coarse particles of hydrated iron oxide are transformed into agglomerates of fine FeIII oxides with a coarse outer shell by alkaline treatment, and these coarse porous iron-oxide particles exhibit good anion-adsorption capacity in aqueous solutions. The formation mechanisms of these different iron-oxide particles are discussed based on the results of the incorporation and adsorption of arsenate and phosphate ions in iron oxides in aqueous solutions.
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