The adsorption of arsenic onto aquifer sediment from the Red River floodplain, Vietnam, was determined in a series of batch experiments. Due to water supply pumping, river water infiltrates into the aquifer at the field site and has leached the uppermost aquifer sediments. The leached sediments remain anoxic but contain little reactive arsenic and iron, and are used in our experiments. The adsorption and desorption experiments were carried out by addition or removal of arsenic from the aqueous phase in sediment suspensions under strictly anoxic conditions. Also the effects of HCO 3, Fe(II), PO 4 and Si on arsenic adsorption were explored. The results show much stronger adsorption of As(V) as compared to As(III), full reversibility for As(III) adsorption and less so for As(V). The presence or absence of HCO 3 did not influence arsenic adsorption. Fe(II) enhanced As(V) sorption but did not influence the adsorption of As(III) in any way. During simultaneous adsorption of As(III) and Fe(II), As(III) was found to be fully desorbable while Fe(II) was completely irreversibly adsorbed and clearly the two sorption processes are uncoupled. Phosphate was the only solute that significantly could displace As(III) from the sediment surface. Compiling literature data on arsenic adsorption to aquifer sediment in Vietnam and Bangladesh revealed As(III) isotherms to be almost identical regardless of the nature of the sediment or the site of sampling. In contrast, there was a large variation in As(V) adsorption isotherms between studies. A tentative conclusion is that As(III) and As(V) are not adsorbing onto the same sediment surface sites. The adsorption behavior of arsenic onto aquifer sediments and synthetic Fe-oxides is compared. Particularly, the much stronger adsorption of As(V) than of As(III) onto Red River as well as on most Bangladesh aquifer sediments, indicates that the perception that arsenic, phosphate and other species compete for the same surface sites of iron oxides in sediments with properties similar to those of, for example a synthetic goethite, probably is not correct. A simple two-component Langmuir adsorption model was constructed to quantitatively describe the reactive transport of As(III) and PO 4 in the aquifer.
- Programområde 2: Vandressourcer