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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 8(5)

Modelling lead(II) sorption to ferrihydrite and soil organic matter

Jon Petter Gustafsson A D , Charlotta Tiberg B , Abubaker Edkymish A and Dan Berggren Kleja C

A Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.
B Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7014, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
C Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Kornhamnstorg 61, SE-111 27 Stockholm, Sweden.
D Corresponding author. Email: gustafjp@kth.se

Environmental Chemistry 8(5) 485-492 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EN11025
Submitted: 4 March 2011  Accepted: 25 May 2011   Published: 13 September 2011

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Environmental context. Lead(II) is a toxic metal pollutant with many anthropogenic sources. We show that lead(II) is bound more strongly to soil surfaces than previously understood. This knowledge may lead to better models for lead(II) dissolution from the soils, which will improve risk assessments for this metal.

Abstract. Lead(II) adsorption to soil organic matter and iron (hydr)oxides is strong, and may control the geochemical behaviour of this metal. Here, we report the adsorption of Pb2+ (i) to 2-line ferrihydrite, and (ii) to a mor layer. The results showed that ferrihydrite has heterogeneous Pb2+ binding. Use of a surface complexation model indicated that ~1 % of the surface sites adsorbed Pb2+ more strongly than the remaining 99 %. Although only one surface complexation reaction was used (a bidentate complex of the composition (≡FeOH)2Pb+), three classes of sites with different affinity for Pb2+ were needed to simulate Pb2+ binding correctly over all Pb/Fe ratios analysed. For the mor layer, Pb2+ sorption was much stronger than current models for organic complexation suggest. The results could be described by the Stockholm Humic Model when the binding heterogeneity was increased, and when it was assumed that 0.2 % of the binding sites were specific for Pb. Use of revised model parameters for nine Vietnamese soils suggest that lead(II) binding was more correctly simulated than before. Thus, underestimation of lead(II) sorption to both (hydr)oxide surfaces and organic matter may explain the failure of previous geochemical modelling attempts for lead(II).

Additional keywords: binding heterogeneity, CD-MUSIC model, 2-line ferrihydrite, mor layer, Stockholm Humic model.


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