Formation of a mixed Fe(II)-Zn-Al layered hydroxide: Effects of Zn co-sorption on Fe(II) layered hydroxide formation and kinetics

Autumn N. Starcher, Evert Elzinga, Donald L. Sparks

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Previous research demonstrated the formation of single divalent metal (Co–, Ni–, and Zn–Al) and mixed divalent metal (Ni–Zn–Al) layered double hydroxide (LDH) phases from reactions of the divalent metal with Al-bearing substrates and soils in both laboratory experiments and in the natural environment. Recently Fe(II)-Al-LDH phases have been found in laboratory batch reaction studies, and although they have yet to be found in the natural environment. Potential locations of Fe(II)-Al-LDH phases in nature include areas with suboxic and anoxic conditions. Because these areas can be environments of significant contaminant accumulation, it is important to understand the possible interactions and impacts of contaminant elements on LDH phase formation. One such contaminant, Zn, can also form as an LDH and has been found to form as a mixed divalent layered hydroxide phase. To understand how Zn impacts the formation of Fe(II)-Al-LDH phase formation and kinetics, 3 mM or 0.8 mM Fe(II) and 0.8 mM Zn were batch reacted with either 10 g/L pyrophyllite or 7.5 g/L γ-Al2O3 for up to three months under anoxic conditions. Aqueous samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and solid samples were analyzed with X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Shell-by-shell fits of Fe(II) and co-sorption samples with pyrophyllite show the formation of a mixed divalent metal (Fe(II)-Zn-Al) layered hydroxide phase, while Fe(II) and Zn co-sorption samples with γ-Al2O3 produce Fe(II)-Al-LDH phases and Zn in inner-sphere complexation with the γ-Al2O3. This study demonstrates the formation of a mixed divalent metal layered hydroxide and further iterates the importance of sorbent reactivity on LDH phase formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


  • Co-sorption
  • Layered double hydroxide
  • Mixed divalent metal layered hydroxides
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy

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