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Molecular-Scale Study of Aspartate Adsorption on Goethite and Competition with Phosphate

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-12, 00:00 authored by Yanli Yang, Shengrui Wang, Yisheng Xu, Binghui Zheng, Jingyang Liu
Knowledge of the interfacial interactions between aspartate and minerals, especially its competition with phosphate, is critical to understanding the fate and transport of amino acids in the environment. Adsorption reactions play important roles in the mobility, bioavailability, and degradation of aspartate and phosphate. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) measurements and density functional theory (DFT) calculations were used to investigate the interfacial structures and their relative contributions in single-adsorbate and competition systems. Our results suggest three dominant mechanisms for aspartate: bidentate inner-sphere coordination involving both α- and γ-COO, outer-sphere complexation via electrostatic attraction and H-bonding between aspartate NH2 and goethite surface hydroxyls. The interfacial aspartate is mainly governed by pH and is less sensitive to changes of ionic strength and aspartate concentration. The phosphate competition significantly reduces the adsorption capacity of aspartate on goethite. Whereas phosphate adsorption is less affected by the presence of aspartate, including the relative contributions of diprotonated monodentate, monoprotonated bidentate, and nonprotonated bidentate structures. The adsorption process facilitates the removal of bioavailable aspartate and phosphate from the soil solution as well as from the sediment pore water and the overlying water.

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