Green Rust and Iron Oxide Formation Influences Metolachlor Dechlorination during Zerovalent Iron Treatment

Tunlawit Satapanajaru, Patrick J. Shea, Steve D. Comfort, Yul Roh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Electron transfer from zerovalent iron (Fe0) (to targeted contaminants is affected by initial Fe0 composition, the oxides formed during corrosion, and surrounding electrolytes. We previously observed enhanced metolachlor destruction by Fe0 when iron or aluminum salts were present in the aqueous matrix and Eh/pH conditions favored formation of green rusts. To understand these enhanced destruction rates, we characterized changes in Fe0 composition during treatment of metolachlor with and without iron and aluminum salts. Raman microspectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that the iron source was initially coated with a thin layer of magnetite (Fe3O4), maghemite (γ-Fe2O 3), and wüstite (FeO). Time-resolved analysis indicated that akaganeite (β-FeOOH) was the dominant oxide formed during Fe0 treatment of metolachlor. Goethite (α-FeOOH) and some lepidocrocite (γ-FeOOH) formed when Al2(SO4)3 was present, while goethite and magnetite (Fe3O4) were identified in Fe0 treatments containing FeSO4. Although conditions favoring formation of sulfate green rust (GR(II); Fe 6(OH)12SO4) facilitated Fe 0-mediated dechlorination of metolachlor, only adsorption was observed when GR(II) was synthesized (without Fe0) in the presence of metolachlor and Eh/pH changed to favor Fe(III)oxyhydroxide or magnetite formation. In contrast, dechlorination occurred when magnetite or natural goethite was amended with Fe(II) (as FeSO4) at pH 8 and continued as long as additional Fe(II) was provided. While metolachlor was not dechlorinated by GR(II) itself during a 48-h incubation, the GR(II) provided a source of Fe(II) and produced magnetite (and other oxide surfaces) that coordinated Fe(II), which then facilitated dechlorination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5219-5227
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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