Modelling the effect of adsorption of phosphate and other anions on the surface charge of variable charge oxides

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Abstract

Adsorption of anions by iron and aluminium oxides decreases the charge on the surface. However, the negative charge conveyed to the surface by an adsorbed anion varies with the amount of anion adsorbed. This has been explained qualitatively by postulating a mixture of reactions at different surface coverage (Rajan, 1976) or by postulating different reaction mechanisms at different concentrations of phosphate (Ryden & Syers, 1975). We show that these effects may also be reproduced by the adsorption model of Bowden et al. (1974, 1977, 1980). This model does not require a mixture of equations to describe the variations in charge conveyed to the surface. Instead it describes the electrostatic consequences of adsorption. The charge conveyed to the surface by each increment of phosphate differs from that of the previous increment because each successive increment reacts with a surface with a different net charge. The model also reproduces the observed effects of ionic strength and pH on the charge conveyed to the surface by adsorption. Further, it suggests that differences between anions on the charge conveyed to the surface are explicable in differences in the mean distance of the adsorbed anion from the original surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Soil Science
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984

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