Humic acid fractionation upon sequential adsorption onto goethite

Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids
Seunghun Kang, Baoshan Xing


Mineral-humic complexes are commonly distributed in natural environments and are important in regulating the transport and retention of hydrophobic organic contaminants in soils and sediments. This study investigated the structural and conformational changes of humic acid (HA) and mineral-HA complexes after sequential HA adsorption by goethite, using UV-visible spectroscopy, high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The HA remaining in the solution after adsorption showed low polarity index values ((N+O)/C), which indicates that polar functional moieties are likely to adsorb on the goethite surface. In addition, we observed decreased E4/E6 and E2/E3 ratios of unbound HA with increasing number of coatings, implying that aliphatic rich HA fractions with polar functional moieties readily adsorb to the goethite surface. According to IR spectra, carbohydrate carbon would be the important fractions associated with goethite. NMR spectra provided evidence for HA fractionation during adsorption onto the mineral surface; that is, aliphatic fractions were preferentially adsorbed by goethite while aromatic fract...Continue Reading


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