Adsorption and desorption of arsenic and its immobilization in soils




toxic contaminant, maximum adsorption capacity, mineralogy of soils, texture, geochemical barrier


Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring chemical element considered toxic and carcinogenic by health and environmental protection agencies. Studies of As adsorption/ desorption behavior in soils are important to predictions of As’ potential mobility in natural systems. The aim of this study was to assess the adsorption of As(V) in soils from Minas Gerais, Brazil, and determine its immobilization rate in order to identify soils with characteristics more favorable to its deployment as an As geochemical barrier. The adsorption experiment was performed using different As concentrations and the data pertaining to the maximum adsorption capacity of As(V) (MACAs) were determined by Langmuir and Freundlich isoterms. The Oxisols, due to their more oxidic mineralogy, especially more gibbsitic, and clayey texture, showed the highest MACAs, followed by Ultisols, Inceptisols, and Entisols. In terms of the desorption of As the Inceptisols were the soils that showed the most As desorption. Both As desorption and mobility was lower in the more oxidic and clayey soils. In all soils, the total amount of As was desorbed in due course, but the As release ratio tended to decrease with the passage of time. In general, soils with higher MACAs did not necessarily show less As desorption. For use as a geochemical barrier, as important as a high adsorption capacity of As by the soil is a low As desorption rate. The increase in As mobility may increase the risks of contaminating the supplies of water. To be a good As geochemical barrier the soil has to be a clayey Oxisol, with relatively high amounts of Fe and Al oxides, especially gibbsite.


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Soils and Plant Nutrition

How to Cite

Adsorption and desorption of arsenic and its immobilization in soils. (2021). Scientia Agricola, 78(3), e20180386.