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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Quaternary Ammonium Surfactant Effects on Sorption of Trace Metals onto Quartz and Aluminosilicates


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 59 No. 2, p. 380-387
    Received: Sept 29, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Kim F. Hayes ,
  2. Chia-chen Chen and
  3. Drew C. McAvoy
  1. Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Dep. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125
    Environmental Safety Dep., The Procter & Gamble Co., Ivorydale Technical Center, 5299 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45217-1087



This study was conducted to investigate the potential impact of quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) on trace metal ion desorption from soil constituents. Three soil constituents (quartz, kaolinite, and montmorillonite), two trace metal cations [Co(II) and Sr(II)], and three alkyltrimethylammoniumchloride surfactants (C8TMAC, C12TMAC, and C16TMAC) were chosen for this investigation. For the quartz system, Co(II) showed no desorption while Sr(II) showed a slight pH-dependent desorption. For kaolinite or montmorillonite systems, desorption of Co(II) and Sr(II) by QACs occurred only for the fraction of the trace metal cations sorbed on permanent-charge sites. In the case of montmorillonite, Sr(II) was significantly desorbed at all pH values. This was thought to be a result of the nearly exclusive sorption of Sr(II) to the permanent-charge sites in this system. In all other clay systems studied [Sr(II), Co(II) on kaolinite; Co(II) on montmorillonite], desorption only occurred at lower pH from permanent-charge sites. No desorption occurred at higher pH values where sorption to surface hydroxyl sites was indicated. In general, QAC-induced desorption of trace metal cations was found to be significant only when QAC sorption equaled or exceeded the cation-exchange capacity. Surfactant chain length was found to have little effect on the overall pH-dependent desorption trends. As expected, higher surfactant concentration was required to cause trace metal ion desorption as the surfactant chain length decreased.

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