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Co-sequestration of Zn(II) and phosphate by γ-Al2O3: From macroscopic to microscopic investigation

Ren, Xuemei, Tan, Xiaoli, Hayat, Tasawar, Alsaedi, Ahmed, Wang, Xiangke
Journal of hazardous materials 2015 v.297 pp. 134-145
X-radiation, absorption, electrostatic interactions, ions, pH, phosphates, pollution, spectroscopy, zinc
Little information is available concerning co-sorbing oxyanion and metal contaminants in the environment, yet in most metal-contaminated areas, co-contamination by phosphate is common. In this study, the mutual effects of phosphate and Zn(II) on their interaction with γ-Al2O3 are investigated by batch experiments and X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (XAFS) technique. The results show that the co-sorption of phosphate on γ-Al2O3 modifies both the extent of Zn(II) sorption and the local atomic structures of sorbed Zn(II) ions. Multiple mechanisms are involved in Zn(II) retention in the presence of phosphate, including electrostatic interaction, binary and ternary surface complexation, and the formation of Zn(II)-phosphate polynuclear complexes. At pH 6.5, type III ternary surface complexation occurs concurrently with binary Zn-alumina surface complexation at low phosphate concentrations, whereas the formation of type III ternary surface complexes is promoted as the phosphate concentration increases. With further increasing phosphate concentration, Zn(II)-phosphate polynuclear complexes are formed. At pH 8.0, Zn dominantly forms type III ternary surface complexes in the presence of phosphate. The results of this study indicate the variability of Zn complexation on oxide surface and the importance of combining macroscopic observations with XAFS capable of determining metal complex formation mechanism for ternary system.