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

Natalia Chubar, Vasyl Gerda, Małgorzata Szlachta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


© 2014 American Chemical Society. 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 (US)
Pages (from-to)13376-13383
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 29 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-017-12
Acknowledgements: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Award KUK-C1-017-12) and Dutch Ministry for Scientific Research (NWO), which funded the EXAFS studies conducted in spring 2011, are gratefully acknowledged for the financial support of this work. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor who helped to improve this work considerably.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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