Photolysis of mono and di-carboxylic acids that are adsorbed onto the surface of the iron oxyhydroxide (goethite) results in an oxidation of the organic material and a reduction from Fe(III) to Fe(II) in the iron complex. There is a subsequent release of Fe2+ ions into solution. At constant light flux and constant solution light absorption, the factors responsible for the degree of photolytic reaction include: the number of lattice sites that are bonded by the organic acid; the rate of acid readsorption to the surface during photolysis; the conformation and structure of the organic acid; the degree of oxidation of the organic acid; the presence or absence of an ??-hydroxy group on the acid, the number of carbons in the di-acid chain and the conformation of the di-acid. The ability to liberate Fe(III) at pH 6.5 from the geothite lattice is described by the lyotropic series: tartrate>citrate> oxalate > glycolate > maleate > succinate > formate > fumarate > malonate > glutarate > benzoate = butanoate = control. Although a larger amount of iron is liberated, the series is almost the same at pH 5.5 except that oxalate > citrate and succinate > maleate. A set of rate equations are given that describe the release of iron from the goethite lattice. It was observed that the pH of the solution increases during photolysis if the solutions are not buffered. There is evidence to suggest the primary mechanism for all these reactions is an electron transfer from the organic ligand to the Fe(III) in the complex. Of all the iron-oxyhydroxide materials, crystalline goethite is the least soluble in water; yet, this study indicates that in an aqueous suspension, iron can be liberated from the goethite lattice. Further, it has been shown that photolysis can occur in a multiphase system at the sediment- water interface which results in an oxidation of the organic species and release of Fe2+ to solution where it becomes available for further reaction. ?? 1993.
Additional Publication Details
Aquatic photolysis: photolytic redox reactions between goethite and adsorbed organic acids in aqueous solutions
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry