Manganese and its compounds have been extensively studied because of their far-reaching roles in a wide range of biogeochemical processes in natural systems. The (ad)sorption behavior of Mn(II), however, is poorly understood despite its important role as the primary reaction step for surface-catalyzed Mn(II) oxidation that is the principal abiotic process forming various Mn (oxyhydr)oxides in nature. Here, we systematically examined Mn(II) (ad)sorption to one of the most common natural sorbents, goethite, in oxygen- and carbonate-free systems. Traditional sorption edge and isotherm experiments were conducted by varying sorbate-to-sorbent ratio (0.027–15 μmol∙m−2) and solution pH (pH 5.0–9.0). The effects of dissolved carbonates on Mn(II) sorption were also assessed in a range of naturally prevalent concentrations (0.5–10 mM NaHCO3). The Mn(II) uptake on goethite followed a typical Langmuir isotherm in the absence of dissolved carbonates, with increasing maximum adsorption capacities (Γmax) from 0.19 at pH 6.5 to 3.4 μmol∙m−2 at pH 9.0. The presence of dissolved carbonates raised the extent of Mn(II) adsorption, which appeared to be directly correspondent to that of the adsorption of dissolved carbonates. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis indicated that Mn(II) predominantly formed inner-sphere binuclear bidentate surface complexes. Mn(II) uptake became deviated from the Langmuir model and showed a clear indication of surface precipitation when the Mn(II) sorption density (Γ) exceeded a threshold value in a given solution composition. This secondary Mn(II) phase was identified as rhodochrosite using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Additionally, it would be plausible that a minor fraction of adsorbed Mn(II) coexisted with the secondary rhodochrosite according to a linear combination fitting (LCF) of the X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra of Mn reference and samples. These systematic investigations of the macroscopic and microscopic behaviors of Mn(II) (ad)sorption to goethite provide a critical avenue for disentangling surface-catalytic Mn(II) oxidation processes, which ultimately lead to the formation of diverse Mn (oxyhydr)oxides in the environment.
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