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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Comparative Effectiveness of Fourteen Solutions for Extracting Arsenic from Four Western New York Soils1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 2, p. 304-308
    Received: Aug 11, 1978
    Accepted: Nov 7, 1978

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  1. Steven E. Johnston and
  2. Walther M. Barnard2



Four western New York soils differing in soil type and land use were subjected to (i) extraction of As by 14 solutions for soil-solvent mixtures shaken for 1, 3, 7, and 18 hours; (ii) a sequential extraction with solvents designed to identify water soluble-As (Ws-As) and As associated with Al (Al-As), Fe (Fe-As), and Ca (Ca-As); and (iii) a hot HNO3-H2SO4 digestion to determine “total” As. Arsenic was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry employing arsine generation.

In each soil sample the sequential extraction demonstrated that Fe-As >> Ca-As > Al-As > Ws-As; the total amount removed by the sequential extraction was only 34 to 41% of the total As in three low As (15.0 to 16.4 µg/g As) soil samples and 98% in a lead arsenate-sprayed orchard sample containing 52.1 µg/g As.

Deionized distilled water, 1N NH4Cl, and 0.5M solutions of CH3COONH4 (“NH4Ac”), NH4NO3, and (NH4)2CO3 generally removed < 0.1 µg/g As from the soils. For the more effective solvents, the amount of As extracted increased with shaking time but an 18-hour shake never exceeded 80% of that extracted sequentially for any sample. The relative effectiveness of the basic solutions in removing As was in the order of 0.5M NH4F ≈ 0.5M NaHCO3 < 0.5M (NH4)2CO3 < 0.5M Na2CO3 < 0.1M NaOH; for acid solutions the order was 0.05N HCl + 0.025N H2SO4 ≈ 0.5M HCl < 0.5M KH2PO4 < 0.5N H2SO4.

Arsenic extraction data obtained in this study are consistent with the view that P and As react similarly in solutions containing acetate, sulfate, fluoride, bicarbonate, hydroxide, and hydrogen ions.

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