Chemodenitrification-the abiotic (chemical) reduction of nitrite (NO2−) by iron (II)-plays an important role in nitrogen cycling due in part to this process serving as a source of nitrous oxide (N2O). Questions remain about the fate of NO2− in the presence of mineral surfaces formed during chemodenitrification, such as iron(III) (hydr) oxides, particularly relative to dissolved iron(II). In this study, stirred-batch kinetic experiments were conducted under anoxic conditions (to mimic iron(III)-reducing conditions) from pH 5.5–8 to investigate NO2− reactivity with goethite (FeOOH(s)) and Fe(II)-treated goethite using wet chemical and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Nitrite removal from solution by goethite was more rapid at pH 5.5 than at pH 7 and 8. Spectral changes upon nitrite adsorption imply an inner-sphere surface interaction (monodentate and bidentate) at pH 5.5 based on ATR-FTIR spectra of the nitrite-goethite interface over time. In iron(II)-amended experiments at pH 5.5 with high aqueous Fe(II) in equilibrium with goethite, nitrous oxide was generated, indicating that nitrite removal involved a combination of sorption and reduction processes. The presence of a surface complex resembling protonated nitrite (HONO) with an IR peak near ~1258 cm−1 was observed in goethite-only and iron(II)-goethite experiments, with a greater abundance of this species observed in the latter treatment. These results might help explain gaseous losses of nitrogen where nitrite and iron(II)/goethite coexist, with implications for nutrient cycling and release of atmospheric air pollutants.
|Journal||Science of the Total Environment|
|State||Published - Aug 15 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Mike Sharkey for help with scanning electron microscopy. We greatly acknowledge funding for this work by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2007-35107-18311 from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension service and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky . The comments of two anonymous reviewers and Dr. Andreas Kappler are greatly appreciated.
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.
- Infrared spectroscopy
- Nitrous oxide
- Redox transformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal