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Unravelling the fate of arsenic during re-oxidation of reduced wetland waters : experimental constraints and environmental consequences

Abstract : The presence of arsenic(As)-bearing Fe(III) oxyhydroxides in wetland zones may threat water quality due to the reduction processes that affect these zones. These processes have indeed the potential of releasing As into the soil solutions, and ultimately into the nearby river network, being given the hydrological connectivity that exists between wetlands and rivers. The effective transport of the released As into the river network is however dependent on the behaviour of As during the re-oxidation process that will occur at the wetland-river boundary, which could immobilize the released As into neo-formed Fe(III) oxyhydroxides. One of the key questions is, however, which is the impact of the organic-rich nature of wetland waters on this neoformation, which could instead favour the development of highly mobile As-bearing, organomineral colloids. In this study, we evaluated this possibility by carrying out oxidation experiments on humic acid (HA)- and As(III)/Fe(II)-rich waters. The ultrafiltration results showed that the presence of organic molecules during Fe oxidation events played a major role in the hydrolysis reaction of Fe oxyhydroxides. When Fe microparticles were formed in the absence of HA, the occurrence of HA during Fe oxidation events promoted the formation of amorphous nanosize Fe phase diffusely embedded within the organic matrix. These mixed Fe-HA colloids constrained the fate and distribution of As. These results were confirmed by nanoSIMS images that showed As sorption onto and within Fe microparticles (> 0.2 μm) in the absence of HA. By contrast, with HA, results showed preferential incorporation of As in the bulk of Fe-HA colloids (< 0.2 μm) during their formation rather than surface adsorption onto these colloids.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 2:59:42 PM
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Mathieu Pédrot, Aline Dia, Mélanie Davranche, Sébastien Martin, Maya Al-Sid-Cheikh, et al.. Unravelling the fate of arsenic during re-oxidation of reduced wetland waters : experimental constraints and environmental consequences. Comptes Rendus Géoscience, Elsevier Masson, 2015, 47 (5-6), pp.304-314. ⟨10.1016/j.crte.2015.03.002⟩. ⟨insu-01118114⟩



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