Final Report: The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.

EPA Grant Number: R825513C029
Subproject: this is subproject number 029 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC
Center Director: Reible, Danny D.
Title: The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
Investigators: McWhinney, H. G. , Wiesner, Mark R.
Institution: Prairie View A & M University , Rice University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1997
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The overall objective of this study was a better understanding of the dynamics of competitive adsorption of metal ions on particles. To accomplish this, the study focused on surface studies of competitive adsorption/precipitation of lead, cadmium and zinc ions on particles. The specific objectives of the work were to; (1) investigate competitive adsorption of metals on colloids, (2) investigate changes in colloidal stability, and (3) study transport properties of Zn on sediments in different aquatic environments. Phenomena of particular interest are: (a) Metal surface equilibria (b) Particle aggregate equilibria, and c) Adsorption desorption processes.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

The analytical techniques utilized were; X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Ion Scattering Spectroscopy (ISS). Both chemical speciation and quantitative information were provided by XPS. The application of natural sediments from known particle size distribution in place of novel synthesized particles has been accepted as more realistic in understanding adsorption and transport phenomena. Solution analyses and mass balance determinations were carried out by atomic absorption spectrometry (flame and graphite).

A tremendous amount of interest is being placed on the adsorption of cations by sediments (hydrous oxides etc.), Because of their role in controlling the transport and fate of trace metals in the environment. Consequently, there is a need for more information at moderate and environmentally realistic concentrations i.e., <10-6 M. The reversibility of adsorption under different environmental conditions warrants serious scrutiny as the fate of adsorbed ions seem to depend heavily on this process. The rate at which divalent cation adsorption becomes significant varies with the particular cation and the solid involved, the solid: solution ratio, the specific surface area of the solid, the total cation concentration, and the concentration of interacting species. It is therefore necessary to study the problem in terms of the sediment properties (type, size distribution, etc.). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy proves to be a good probe for investigating the adsorption of metal ions on sediments. The effect of surface carbon concentrations should be more strongly considered. These results, although preliminary, do present some interesting observations and may in the end offer some insight as to the fate of metal ions in different environments.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 1 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

metal ions, metal transport, and fate., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, environmental technology, sediment treatment, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, fate and transport, colloidal particles, contaminated marine sediment, soil and groundwater remediation, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, kinetics, chemical contaminants, metal ions, contaminated soil, bioremediation of soils, marine sediments, remediation, chemical kinetics, biotransformation, photoelectron spectroscopy, extraction of metals, technology transfer, cadmium, heavy metals, technical outreach

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1995

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825513    HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825513C001 Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
    R825513C002 Contaminant Transport Across Cohesive Sediment Interfaces.
    R825513C003 Mobilization and Fate of Inorganic Contaminant due to Resuspension of Cohesive Sediment.
    R825513C004 Source Identification, Transformation, and Transport Processes of N-, O- and S- Containing Organic Chemicals in Wetland and Upland Sediments.
    R825513C005 Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
    R825513C006 Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Other Nitroaromatic Compounds by Clostridium Acetobutylicum.
    R825513C007 Investigation on the Fate and Biotransformation of Hexachlorobutadiene and Chlorobenzenes in a Sediment-Water Estuarine System
    R825513C008 An Investigation of Chemical Transport from Contaminated Sediments through Porous Containment Structures
    R825513C009 Evaluation of Placement and Effectiveness of Sediment Caps
    R825513C010 Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C011 Pollutant Fluxes to Aquatic Systems via Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C012 Controls on Metals Partitioning in Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C013 Phytoremediation of TNT Contaminated Soil and Groundwaters
    R825513C014 Sediment-Based Remediation of Hazardous Substances at a Contaminated Military Base
    R825513C015 Effect of Natural Dynamic Changes on Pollutant-Sediment Interaction
    R825513C016 Desorption of Nonpolar Organic Pollutants from Historically Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials
    R825513C017 Modeling Air Emissions of Organic Compounds from Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials title change in last year to "Long-term Release of Pollutants from Contaminated Sediment Dredged Material"
    R825513C018 Development of an Integrated Optic Interferometer for In-Situ Monitoring of Volatile Hydrocarbons
    R825513C019 Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Material
    R825513C020 Bioremediation of Sediments Contaminated with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R825513C021 Role of Particles in Mobilizing Hazardous Chemicals in Urban Runoff
    R825513C022 Particle Transport and Deposit Morphology at the Sediment/Water Interface
    R825513C023 Uptake of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Sediments
    R825513C024 Bioavailability of Desorption Resistant Hydrocarbons in Sediment-Water Systems.
    R825513C025 Interactive Roles of Microbial and Spartina Populations in Mercury Methylation Processes in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments in Salt-Marsh Systems
    R825513C026 Evaluation of Physical-Chemical Methods for Rapid Assessment of the Bioavailability of Moderately Polar Compounds in Sediments
    R825513C027 Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
    R825513C028 Characterization of Laguna Madre Contaminated Sediments.
    R825513C029 The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
    R825513C030 Remediation of TNT-Contaminated Soil by Cyanobacterial Mat.
    R825513C031 Experimental and Detailed Mathematical Modeling of Diffusion of Contaminants in Fluids
    R825513C033 Application of Biotechnology in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C034 Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
    R825513C035 Dynamic Aspects of Metal Speciation in the Miami River Sediments in Relation to Particle Size Distribution of Chemical Heterogeneity