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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 19 No. 3, p. 382-388
    Received: July 3, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):


Kinetics of Mercuric Chloride Retention by Soils

  1. M. C. Amacher *,
  2. H. M. Selim and
  3. I. K. Iskandar
  1. F orestry Sciences Lab., Intermountain Res. Stn., USDA Forest Serv., Logan, UT 84321;
    A gronomy Dep., Louisiana Agric. Exp. Stn., Louisiana State Univ. Agric. Ctr., Baton Rouge, LA 70803;
    G eochemical Sciences Branch, U.S. Army CRREL, Hanover, NH 03755.



A nonlinear multireaction model was used to describe kinetic data for HgCl2 retention by five soils. A three-parameter version of the model consisting of a reversible nonlinear (nth order, n < 1) reaction and an irreversible first-order reaction was capable of describing HgCl2 retention data for Cecil (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludult) and Windsor (mixed, mesic Typic Udipsamment) soils at all initial solution Hg concentrations, and data for Norwood, [fine-silty, mixed (calcareous), thermic, Typic Udifluvent], Olivier (fine-silty, mixed, thermic Aquic Fragiudalt), and Sharkey (very-fine, montmorillonitic, nonacid, thermic Vertic Haplaquept) soils at initial solution Hg concentrations below 5 mg/L. A five-parameter version of the model, with an added reversible nonlinear reaction, provided a more accurate description of the retention data for the Norwood, Olivier, and Sharkey soils at initial solution Hg concentrations above 5 mg/L. The second reaction needed to describe the data at higher Hg concentrations suggests the presence of a second type of sorption sites, or a precipitation or coprecipitation reaction not encountered at lower Hg concentrations. Release of Hg from the soils was induced by serial dilution of the soil solution, but not all the soil Hg was reversibly retained. This was also indicated by the model. Release of soil Hg depended on the concentration of retained Hg with significant Hg release occurring only at high concentrations of retained Hg. A multireaction model is needed to describe Hg retention in soils because of the many solid phases that can remove Hg from solution.

Joint contribution from the USDA Forest Serv. Intermountain Res. Stn.; Hatch Project 2469, Louisiana Agric. Exp. Stn. as Manuscript no. 89-09-3338; and U.S. Army CRREL.

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