Environmental science & technology

Synergistic effect of reductive and ligand-promoted dissolution of goethite.

PMID 25965980


Ligand-promoted dissolution and reductive dissolution of iron (hydr)oxide minerals control the bioavailability of iron in many environmental systems and have been recognized as biological iron acquisition strategies. This study investigated the potential synergism between ligands (desferrioxamine B (DFOB) or N,N'-Di(2-hydroxybenzyl)ethylenediamine-N,N'-diacetic acid (HBED)) and a reductant (ascorbate) in goethite dissolution. Batch experiments were performed at pH 6 with ligand or reductant alone and in combination, and under both oxic and anoxic conditions. Goethite dissolution in the presence of reductant or ligand alone followed classic surface-controlled dissolution kinetics. Ascorbate alone does not promote goethite dissolution under oxic conditions due to rapid reoxidation of Fe(II). The rate coefficients for goethite dissolution by ligands are closely correlated with the stability constants of the aqueous Fe(III)-ligand complexes. A synergistic effect of DFOB and ascorbate on the rate of goethite dissolution was observed (total rates greater than the sum of the individual rates), and this effect was most pronounced under oxic conditions. For HBED, macroscopically the synergistic effect was hidden due to the inhibitory effect of ascorbate on HBED adsorption. After accounting for the concentrations of adsorbed ascorbate and HBED, a synergistic effect could still be identified. The potential synergism between ligand and reductant for iron (hydr)oxide dissolution may have important implications for iron bioavailability in soil environments.