An analysis of Zinc sorption to amorphous versus crystalline iron oxides using XAS

Paras Trivedi, Lisa Axe, Trevor A. Tyson

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75 Scopus citations


This research probes the mechanisms of Zn adsorption on hydrated oxides of iron (HFO and goethite) using XAS. A systematic investigation reveals that Zn2+ upon sorption to HFO retains its hydration shell (N ∼6 oxygens, R ∼2.18 Å), irrespective of pH and adsorbate loading. Furthermore, the absence of second-shell contributions in combination with the temperature dependence of the structural parameters confirms outer-sphere adsorption complexes with HFO. In a coprecipitation study, the local coordination environment was consistent with Zn adsorption to HFO. On the other hand, Zn2+ strongly adsorbs to goethite forming a tetragonal structure (N ∼4 oxygens and R ∼1.97 Å). Evidence of two Fe3+ ions in the second shell at approximately 3.51 Å suggests an innersphere adsorption complex with goethite. Results demonstrate that even though the local structures of HFO and goethite are similar, the surface sites available to transition metals like zinc are vastly different. Overall, these spectroscopic analyses are consistent with macroscopic observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


  • Adsorption
  • Coprecipitation
  • Iron oxides
  • XAS
  • Zinc


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