Antimony sorption at gibbsite-water interface

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Biological Sciences


Antimony (Sb) is extensively used in flame retardants, lead-acid batteries, solder, cable coverings, ammunition, fireworks, ceramic and porcelain glazes and semiconductors. However, the geochemical fate of antimony (Sb) remained largely unexplored. Among the different Sb species, Sb (V) is the dominant form in the soil environment in a very wide redox range. Although earlier studies have examined the fate of Sb in the presence of iron oxides such as goethite and hematite, few studies till date reported the interaction of Sb (V) with gibbsite, a common soil Al-oxide mineral. The objective of this study was to understand the sorption behavior of Sb (V) on gibbsite as a function of various solution properties such as pH, ionic strength (I), and initial Sb concentrations, and to interpret the sorption-edge data using a surface complexation model. A batch sorption study with 20gL-1 gibbsite was conducted using initial Sb concentrations range of 2.03-16.43μM, pH values between 2 and 10, and ionic strengths (I) between 0.001 and 0.1M. The results suggest that Sb (V) sorbs strongly to the gibbsite surface, possibly via inner-sphere type mechanism with the formation of a binuclear monodentate surface complex. Weak I effect was noticed in sorption-edge data or in the isotherm data at a low surface coverage. Sorption of Sb (V) on gibbsite was highest in the pH range of 2-4, and negligible at pH 10. Our results suggest that gibbsite will likely play an important role in immobilizing Sb (V) in the soil environment. © 2011.

Publication Title