High levels of oxyanions are found in the soil environment, often as a result of human activity. At high concentrations, oxyanions can be harmful to both humans and wildlife. Information about the interactions between oxyanions and natural samples is essential for understanding the bioavailability, toxicity, and transport of these compounds in the environment. In the present study, the authors investigated the reactivity of different oxyanions (AsO4 , MoO4 , SeO4 , and CrO4 ) at different pH values in 2 horizons of a ferralic soil. By combining available microscopic data on iron oxides with the macroscopic data obtained, the authors were able to use the charge distribution model to accurately describe the adsorption of these 4 oxyanions and thus to determine the surface speciation. The charge distribution model was previously calibrated and evaluated using phosphate adsorption/desorption data. The adsorption behavior on ferralic soil is controlled mainly by the natural iron oxides present, and it is qualitatively analogous to that exhibited by synthetic iron oxides. The highest adsorption was found for arsenate ions, whereas the lowest was found for selenate, with chromate and molybdate ions showing an intermediate behavior.
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