It has been widely reported that the Fe(ii)-catalyzed heavy metals bearing Fe minerals affect the redistribution of heavy metals and the phase transition of minerals in the acid mine drainage (AMD) environment. However, the effects and mechanisms of interactions among organic acids, dissolved Fe(ii), and Fe oxide minerals on the heavy metal fate under different pH conditions are still unclear. In this study, using oxalic acid (OA) as a surrogate, batch in situ attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectrometry experiments and spherical aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy were employed to investigate the influence of OA on Fe(ii)-induced Cr(iii)-bearing schwertmannite (Cr-Sch) transformation and Cr/C redistribution at pH 3.5-7.0. The overall relative intensity of OA adsorption on the mineral surface decreased in the presence of Fe(ii), and the proportion of the bidentate binuclear complex (BB) increased. The binding mode of BB and the bidentate mononuclear complex diminished with increasing pH. However, the outer-sphere complex (OS) and aqueous oxalate (Ox) ions gradually became dominant, regardless of whether or not Fe(ii) was present. OA was adsorbed on the goethite surface and Cr was mostly aqueous and extractable state in the presence of Ox. The synergism of OA and Fe(ii) accelerated mineral dissolution but impeded Fe(iii) recrystallization at pH > 5.5 and directly transformed to goethite from Sch. This study provides new insights into the transformation of Cr-Sch and the fate of Cr(iii) under the coexistence of Fe(ii) and OA in an AMD environment, particularly in a watershed obviously changed by pH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- General Environmental Science