Model-Based Analysis of Arsenic Immobilization via Iron Mineral Transformation under Advective Flows

Jing Sun, Henning Prommer, Adam Siade, Steven N. Chillrud, Brian J. Mailloux, Benjamin C. Bostick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent laboratory studies have demonstrated that co-injection of nitrate and Fe(II) (as ferrous sulfate) to As-bearing sediments can produce an Fe mineral assemblage containing magnetite capable of immobilizing advected As under prolonged reducing conditions. This study combined laboratory findings with process-based numerical modeling approaches, to quantify the observed Fe mineral (trans)formation and concomitant As partitioning dynamics, and to assess potential nitrate-Fe(II) remediation strategies for field implementation. The model development was guided by detailed solution and sediment data from our well-controlled column experiment. The modeling results demonstrated that the fate of As during the experiment was primarily driven by ferrihydrite formation and reductive transformation, and that different site densities were identified for natural and neoformed ferrihydrite to explain the observations both before and after nitrate-Fe(II) injection. Our results also highlighted that when ferrihydrite was nearing depletion, As immobilization ultimately relied on the presence of magnetite. On the basis of the column model, field-scale predictive simulations were conducted to illustrate the feasibility of the nitrate-Fe(II) strategy for intercepting advected As from a plume. The predictive simulations, which suggested that long-term As immobilization was feasible, favored a scenario that maintains high dissolved Fe(II) concentration during injection periods and thereby converts ferrihydrite to magnetite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9243-9253
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2018


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