Adsorption and transport of arsenate in carbonate-rich soils: coupled effects of nonlinear and rate-limited sorption

Chemosphere. 2008 Nov;73(8):1300-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.07.013. Epub 2008 Aug 20.


The transport and fate of arsenate in carbonate-rich soil under alkaline conditions was investigated with multiple approaches combining batch, sequential extraction and column experiments as well as transport modeling studies. Batch experiments indicated that sorption isotherm was nonlinear over a wide range of concentration (0.1-200 mg L(-1)) examined. As(V) adsorption to the calcareous soil was initially fast but then continued at a slower rate, indicating the potential effect of rate-limited sorption on transport. Column experiments illustrated that transport of As(V) was significantly retarded compared to a non-reactive tracer. The degree of retardation decreased with increasing As(V) concentration. As(V) breakthrough curves exhibited nonideal transport behavior due to the coupled effects of nonlinear and rate-limited sorption on arsenate transport, which is consistent with the results of modeling studies. The contribution of nonlinear sorption to the arsenate retardation was negligible at low concentration but increased with increasing As(V) concentration. Sequential extraction results showed that nonspecifically sorbed (easily exchangeable, outer sphere complexes) fraction of arsenate is dominant with respect to the inner-sphere surface bound complexes of arsenate in the carbonate soil fraction, indicating high bioavailability and transport for arsenate in the carbonate-rich soils of which Fe and Al oxyhydroxide fractions are limited.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Arsenates / analysis*
  • Arsenates / isolation & purification
  • Biological Availability
  • Calcium Carbonate / metabolism
  • Carbonates / analysis*
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Oxides / metabolism
  • Soil*
  • Solid Phase Extraction
  • Time Factors


  • Arsenates
  • Carbonates
  • Oxides
  • Soil
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • arsenic acid