Journal of
Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology

  • Abbreviation: J. Environ. Chem. Ecotoxicol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-226X
  • DOI: 10.5897/JECE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 195

Full Length Research Paper

Sorption mechanisms of Chromium(III), Copper(II) and Lead(II) on two natural mixed clays from Burkina Faso as determined by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy

Samuel Pare
  • Samuel Pare
  • Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique, Environnementale et Bio-organique, Université Ouaga I, Prof Joseph KY ZERBO Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso.
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Ingmar Persson
  • Ingmar Persson
  • Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P. O. Box 7015, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 14 September 2017
  •  Accepted: 23 October 2017
  •  Published: 31 December 2017


Chromium(III), copper(II) and lead(II) are among the heavy metals produced and released in large amounts by anthropogenic sources worldwide, including Burkina Faso. Previous studies have demonstrated the successful application of domestic natural mixed clays for the removal of these metal ions as a cheap and environmentally friendly method. Qualitative mineralogical characterization of the clays revealed that they consist of kaolinite, illite, orthrose and quartz, and minor quantities of albite and montmorillonite. pHPZC for the clays, as determined by potentiometric titrations, are in the range 6.8 to 7.3. In this study, the interactions of chromium(III), copper(II) and lead(II) ions with these clay minerals were examined by the use of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy. Cr3+ forms tetrameric hydrolysis complexes on the mineral surface with a Cr–O bond distance of 1.98 Å, and two Cr···Cr distances at 3.02 and 3.62 Å. This is indicative of a tetrameric [Cr4(OH)6(H2O)12]6+ entity bound to the clay mineral surface. A distance of 3.17 Å, regarded as a Cr···Fe distance, indicates that one Cr3+ ion in the hydrolyzed tetramer binds to two oxygens in the mineral surface which are bound to either one or two iron(III) ions in the surface. Pb2+ binds two oxygen atoms at an average bond distance of 2.31 Å, with a significant contribution of linear multiple scattering from the PbO2 entity. The EXAFS results of Cr3+ sorption are consistent with the presence of a hydrolysis product of polymeric Cu2+ species with a surface complex or precipitate.

Key words: Sorption, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, clay, precipitation, Burkina Faso.