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Surface reactivity of α-Al2O3 and mechanisms of phosphate sorption: In situ ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and ζ potential studies

Abstract : We have investigated the effect of solution parameters on the adsorption of phosphate ions and on charges and structures, i.e., on the nature of species, at the α-Al2O3 colloid/solution interface by using the batch method, ζ potential measurements, and in situ ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. The uptake of phosphate decreases with the extent of surface deprotonation (i.e., pH), imparts negative charges to the colloid surface, and induces IEP shifts showing chemical sorption. Use of complementary techniques provides evidence that phosphate is sorbed at low pH (3.3) by a combination of surface reactions of complexation and precipitation, whose relative contributions depend on phosphate loading. Surface complexation includes fast reactions of ligand exchange with single coordinated hydroxyls, and electrostatic attraction of H2 PO4- ions at positively charged surface sites. This is supported by experiments at low coverage showing sharp and linear decrease of ζ potential (i.e., surface charge) with amount of phosphate sorbed. At high coverage, ζ potential values are low and independent of phosphate loading. Formation of surface precipitates of Al-phosphate is inferred from the assignment of the ATR-FTIR absorption band at 1137 cm-1, whose intensity increases with phosphate solution content and reaction time, to the P-O-stretching vibration mode for phosphate sorbed at high concentrations on α-Al2O3. In situ ATR-FTIR spectroscopy reveals also structural reorganizations of surface hydroxyls with time, due to surface hydration and to surface precipitation continuing over extended periods along alumina dissolution.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 3:34:23 PM
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Mirella del Nero, Catherine Galindo, Rémi Barillon, Éric Halter, Benoît Madé. Surface reactivity of α-Al2O3 and mechanisms of phosphate sorption: In situ ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and ζ potential studies. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Elsevier, 2010, 342 (2), pp.437-444. ⟨10.1016/j.jcis.2009.10.057⟩. ⟨hal-00716892⟩



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