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Adsorption Mechanisms of Trivalent Gold onto Iron Oxy-Hydroxides: From the Molecular Scale to the Model

Abstract : Gold is a highly valuable metal that can concentrate in iron-rich exogenetic horizons such as laterites. An improved knowledge of the retention mechanisms of gold onto highly reactive soil components such as iron oxy-hydroxides is therefore needed to better understand and predict the geochemical behavior of this element. In this study, we use EXAFS information and titration experiments to provide a realistic thermochemical description of the sorption of trivalent gold onto iron oxy-hydroxides. Analysis of Au LIII-edge XAFS spectra shows that aqueous Au(III) adsorbs from chloride solutions onto goethite surfaces as inner-sphere square-planar complexes (Au(III)(OH,Cl)4), with dominantly OH ligands at pH > 6 and mixed OH/Cl ligands at lower pH values. In combination with these spectroscopic results, Reverse Monte Carlo simulations were used to constraint the possible sorption sites on the surface of goethite. Based on this structural information, we calculated sorption isotherms of Au(III) on Fe oxy-hydroxides surfaces, using the CD-MUSIC (Charge Distribution — MUlti SIte Complexation) model. The various Au(III)-sorbed species were identified as a function of pH, and the results of these EXAFS+CD-MUSIC models are compared with titration experiments. The overall good agreement between the predicted and measured structural models shows the potential of this combined approach to better model sorption processes of transition elements onto highly reactive solid surfaces such as goethite and ferrihydrite.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 4:47:35 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 3:19:31 AM

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Benjamin Cancès, Marc Benedetti, François Farges, Gordon E. Brown. Adsorption Mechanisms of Trivalent Gold onto Iron Oxy-Hydroxides: From the Molecular Scale to the Model. X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure - XAFS13: 13th International Conference. Proceedings held at Stanford, 0000, à renseigner, Unknown Region. pp.217-219, ⟨10.1063/1.2644479⟩. ⟨insu-03603200⟩



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