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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Boron Adsorption Mechanisms on Oxides, Clay Minerals, and Soils Inferred from Ionic Strength Effects


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 57 No. 3, p. 704-708
    Received: July 17, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Sabine Goldberg ,
  2. H. S. Forster and
  3. E. L. Heick
  1. USDA-ARS, U.S. Salinity Lab., 4500 Glenwood Dr., Riverside, CA 92501



Prediction of anion adsorption behavior is enhanced by understanding the adsorption mechanism. This study was conducted to evaluate ionic strength effects on B adsorption and to infer B adsorption mechanisms on various surfaces. Boron adsorption on the Fe oxide goethite, the Al oxide gibbsite, the clay minerals kaolinite and montmorillonite, and two arid-zone soils was investigated as a function of solution pH (3–11) and ionic strength of the background electrolyte (0.01–1.0 M NaCl). Boron adsorption on the oxides and kaolinite increased from pH 3 to 6, exhibited a peak at pH 6 to 8.5, and decreased from pH 8.5 to 11. For B adsorption on montmorillonite and the soils, the adsorption maximum was located near pH 9. Ionic strength dependence, measured as the increase of the B adsorption maximum in 1.0 M NaCl solutions compared with 0.01 M NaCl solutions increased in the order: goethite (3%) < kaolinite (15%) < gibbsite (−30%) < montmorillonite (109%) = montmorillonitic soil (116%) = kaolinitic soil (129%). Shifts in zero point of charge were observed on goethite, gibbsite, and kaolinite following B adsorption. Ionic strength effect results suggest an inner-sphere adsorption mechanism for goethite, gibbsite, and kaolinite and an outer-sphere adsorption mechanism for montmorillonite and the soils. These mechanisms are also indicated by zero point of charge determinations, microelectrophoresis measurements, or both. The constant capacitance model, containing an inner-sphere adsorption mechanism, was able to describe B adsorption on goethite, gibbsite, kaolinite, and kaolinitic soil. The model was unable to describe B adsorption on montmorillonite and montmorillonitic soil because the computer optimizations diverged.

Contribution from the U.S. Salinity Lab.

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