Modeling the effects of variable groundwater chemistry on adsorption of molybdate

Water Resources Research



Laboratory experiments were used to identify and quantify processes having a significant effect on molybdate (MoO42−) adsorption in a shallow alluvial aquifer on Cape Cod, assachusetts. Aqueous chemistry in the aquifer changes as a result of treated sewage effluent mixing with groundwater. Molybdate adsorption decreased as pH, ionic strength, and the concentration of competing anions increased. A diffuse-layer surface complexation model was used to simulate adsorption of MoO42−, phosphate (PO43−), and sulfate (SO42−) on aquifer sediment. Equilibrium constants for the model were calculated by calibration to data from batch experiments. The model was then used in a one-dimensional solute transport program to successfully simulate initial breakthrough of MoO42− from column experiments. A shortcoming of the solute transport program was the inability to account for kinetics of physical and chemical processes. This resulted in a failure of the model to predict the slow rate of desorption of MoO42− from the columns. The mobility of MoO42− ncreased with ionic strength and with the formation of aqueous complexes with calcium, magnesium, and sodium. Failure to account for MoO42− speciation and ionic strength in the model resulted in overpredicting MoO42− adsorption. Qualitatively, the laboratory data predicted the observed behavior of MoO42− in the aquifer, where retardation of MoO42− was greatest in uncontaminated roundwater having low pH, low ionic strength, and low concentrations of PO43− and SO42−.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Modeling the effects of variable groundwater chemistry on adsorption of molybdate
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/94WR02675
Volume 31
Issue 2
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 11 p.
First page 347
Last page 357