Permanganate oxidation of arsenic(III): Reaction stoichiometry and the characterization of solid product

Giehyeon Lee, Kyungsun Song, Jongseong Bae

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Permanganate (MnO4-) has widely been used as an effective oxidant for drinking water treatment systems, as well as for in situ treatment of groundwater impacted by various organic contaminants. The reaction stoichiometry of As(III) oxidation by permanganate has been assumed to be 1.5, based on the formation of solid product, which is putatively considered to be MnO2(s). This study determined the stoichiometric ratio (SR) of the oxidation reaction with varying doses of As(III) (3-300μM) and MnO4- (0.5 or 300μM) under circumneutral pH conditions (pH 4.5-7.5). We also characterized the solid product that was recovered ~1min after the oxidation of 2.16mM As(III) by 0.97mM MnO4- at pH 6.9 and examined the feasibility of secondary heterogeneous As(III) oxidation by the solid product. When permanganate was in excess of As(III), the SR of As(III) to Mn(VII) was 2.07±0.07, regardless of the solution pH; however, it increased to 2.49±0.09 when As(III) was in excess. The solid product was analogous to vernadite, a poorly crystalline manganese oxide based on XRD analysis. The average valence of structural Mn in the solid product corresponded to +III according to the splitting interval of the Mn3s peaks (5.5eV), determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The relative proportions of the structural Mn(IV):Mn(III):Mn(II) were quantified as 19:62:19 by fitting the Mn2p3/2 spectrum of the solid with the five multiplet binding energy spectra for each Mn valence. Additionally, the O1s spectrum of the solid was comparable to that of Mn-oxide but not of Mn-hydroxide. These results suggest that the solid product resembled a poorly crystalline hydrous Mn-oxide such as (MnII0.19MnIII0.62MnIV0.19)2O3·nH2O, in which Mn(II) and Mn(IV) were presumably produced from the disproportionation of aqueous phase Mn(III). Thermodynamic calculations also show that the formation of Mn(III) oxide is more favorable than that of Mn(IV) oxide from As(III) oxidation by permanganate under circumneutral pH conditions. Arsenic(III), when it remained in the solution after all of the permanganate was consumed, was effectively oxidized by the solid product. This secondary heterogeneous As(III) oxidation consisted of three steps: sorption to and oxidation on the solid surface and desorption of As(V) into solution, with the first step being the rate-limiting process as observed in As(III) oxidation by various Mn (oxyhydr)oxides reported elsewhere. We also discussed a potential reaction pathway of the permanganate oxidation of As(III).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4713-4727
Number of pages15
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Korean Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-331-2007-C00243). K.S. was supported also by the Basic Research Project of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea. G.L. thanks Y.-J. Lee for assistance with literature reviews. Reviews by two anonymous reviewers and S. Kraemer helped to greatly improve the final version.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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