Control of arsenic mobilization in paddy soils by manganese and iron oxides

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Xu, X. W., Chen, C., Wang, P., Kretzschmar, R. and Zhao, F-J. 2017. Control of arsenic mobilization in paddy soils by manganese and iron oxides. Environmental Pollution. 231 (1), pp. 37-47.

AuthorsXu, X. W., Chen, C., Wang, P., Kretzschmar, R. and Zhao, F-J.

Reductive mobilization of arsenic (As) in paddy soils under flooded conditions is an important reason for the relatively high accumulation of As in rice, posing a risk to food safety and human health. The extent of As mobilization varies widely among paddy soils, but the reasons are not well understood. In this study, we investigated As mobilization in six As-contaminated paddy soils (total As ranging from 73 to 122 mg kg−1) in flooded incubation and pot experiments. Arsenic speciation in the solution and solid phases were determined. The magnitude of As mobilization into the porewater varied by > 100 times among the six soils. Porewater As concentration correlated closely with the concentration of oxalate-extractable As, suggesting that As associated with amorphous iron (oxyhydr)oxides represents the potentially mobilizable pool of As under flooded conditions. Soil containing a high level of manganese oxides showed the lowest As mobilization, likely because Mn oxides retard As mobilization by slowing down the drop of redox potential upon soil flooding and maintaining a higher arsenate to arsenite ratio in the solid and solution phases. Additions of a synthetic Mn oxide (hausmannite) to two paddy soils increased arsenite oxidation, decreased As mobilization into the porewater and decreased As concentrations in rice grain and straw. Consistent with previous studies using simplified model systems or pure mineral phases, the present study shows that Mn oxides and amorphous Fe (oxyhydr)oxides are important factors controlling reductive As mobilization in As-contaminated paddy soils. In addition, this study also suggests a potential mitigation strategy using exogenous Mn oxides to decrease As uptake by rice in paddy soils containing low levels of indigenous Mn oxides, although further work is needed to verify its efficacy and possible secondary effects under field conditions. 

Year of Publication2017
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Journal citation231 (1), pp. 37-47
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Aug 2017
Elsevier Sci Ltd
Copyright licensePublisher copyright

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