The study of mercury sorption products in model systems using appropriate in situ molecular-scale probes can provide detailed information on the modes of sorption at mineral/water interfaces. Such studies are essential for assessing the influence of sorption processes on the transport of Hg in contaminated natural systems. Macroscopic uptake of Hg(II) on goethite (??-FeOOH), ??-alumina (??-Al2O3), and bayerite (??-Al(OH)3) as a function of pH has been combined with Hg L III-edge EXAFS spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, and bond valence analysis of possible sorption products to provide this type of information. Macroscopic uptake measurements show that Hg(II) sorbs strongly to fine-grained powders of synthetic goethite (Hg sorption density ??=0.39-0.42 ??mol/m2) and bayerite (??=0.39-0.44 ??mol/m2), while sorbing more weakly to ??-alumina (??=0.04-0.13 ??mol/m 2). EXAFS spectroscopy on the sorption samples shows that the dominant mode of Hg sorption on these phases is as monodentate and bidentate inner-sphere complexes. The mode of Hg(II) sorption to goethite was similar over the pH range 4.3-7.4, as were those of Hg(II) sorption to bayerite over the pH range 5.1-7.9. Conversion of the ??-Al2O3 sorbent to a bayerite-like phase in addition to the apparent reduction of Hg(II) to Hg(I), possibly by photoreduction during EXAFS data collection, resulted in enhanced Hg uptake from pH 5.2-7.8 and changes in the modes of sorption that correlate with the formation of the bayerite-like phase. Bond valence calculations are consistent with the sorption modes proposed from EXAFS analysis. EXAFS analysis of Hg(II) sorption products on a natural Fe oxyhydroxide precipitate and Al/Si-bearing flocculent material showed sorption products and modes of surface attachment similar to those for the model substrates, indicating that the model substrates are useful surrogates for the natural sediments. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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EXAFS study of mercury(II) sorption to Fe- and Al-(hydr)oxides: I. Effects of pH