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Environmental Science & Technology, 2003      Photochemical Oxidation of As(III) in Ferrioxalate Solutions
Benjamin D. Kocar and William P. Inskeep
Environmental Science & Technology, 2003

Photochemical reactions involving aqueous Fe(III) complexes are known to generate free radical species such as OHÂ¥ that are capable of oxidizing numerous inorganic and organic compounds. Recent work has shown that As- (III) can be oxidized to As(V) via photochemical reactions in ferric-citrate solutions; however, the mechanisms of As- (III) oxidation and the potential importance of photochemical oxidation in natural waters are poorly understood. Consequently, the objectives of this study were to evaluate oxidation rates of As(III) in irradiated ferrioxalate solutions as a function of pH, identify mechanisms of photochemical As(III) oxidation, and evaluate the oxidation of As(III) in a representative natural water containing dissolved organic C (DOC). The oxidation of As(III) was studied in irradiated ferrioxalate solutions as a function of pH (3-7), As(III), Fe- (III), and 2-propanol concentration. Rates of As(III) oxidation (0.5-254 µM h-1) were first-order in As(III) and Fe(III) concentration and increased with decreasing pH. Experiments conducted at pH 5.0 using 2-propanol as an OH* scavenger in light and dark reactions suggested that OH* is the important free radical responsible for As(III) oxidation. Significant rates of As(III) oxidation (4-6 µM hM-1) were also observed in a natural water sample containing DOC, indicating that photochemical oxidation of As(III) may contribute to arsenic (As) cycling in natural waters.

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