About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Constraints on Precipitation of the Ferrous Arsenite Solid H7Fe4(AsO3)5


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 3, p. 947-954
    Received: Aug 27, 2013
    Published: June 24, 2014

    * Corresponding author(s): ymasue@gmail.com
Request Permissions

  1. Yoko Masue-Slowey *a,
  2. Aaron J. Sloweyb,
  3. F. Marc Michelc,
  4. Samuel M. Webbd and
  5. Scott Fendorfa
  1. a Dep. of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305
    b Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., 1 Cyclotron Rd., Berkeley, CA 94720
    c Dep. of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA 24061
    d Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Menlo Park, CA 94025


Formation of Fe(II)-As(III) solids is suspected to limit dissolved As concentrations in anaerobic environments. Iron(II) precipitates enriched in As(III) have been observed after microbial reduction of As(V)-loaded lepidocrocite (γ-FeOOH) and symplesite (Fe(II)3(As(V)O4)2]·8H2O) and upon abiotic reaction of Fe(II) with As(III). However, the conditions favorable for Fe(II)-As(III) precipitation and the long-term stability (relative to dissolution) of this phase are unknown. Here we examine the composition, local structure, and solubility of an Fe(II)-As(III) precipitate to determine environments where such a solid may form and persist. We reveal that the Fe(II)-As(III) precipitate has a composition of H7Fe4(AsO3)5 and a log Kso of 34 for the dissolution reaction defined as: H7Fe4(AsO3)5 + 8H+ = 4Fe2+ + 5H3AsO3. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic analysis of H7Fe4(AsO3)5 shows that the molecular environment of Fe is dominated by edge-sharing octahedra within an Fe(OH)2 sheet and that As is dominated by corner-sharing AsIIIO3 pyramids, which are consistent with previously published structures of As(III)-rich Fe(II) solids. The H7Fe4(AsO3)5 solid has a pH-dependent solubility and requires millimolar concentrations of dissolved Fe(II) and As(III) to precipitate at pH <7.5. By contrast, alkaline conditions are more conducive to formation of H7Fe4(AsO3)5; however, a high concentration of Fe(II) is required, which is unusual under alkaline conditions.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2014. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.