The University of Arizona
SWES dept logo Environmental Biogeochemistry Group Sabino Fall color
Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

Research Project:
Role of Mineral Genesis, Dissolution and Sorption on Arsenic Fate in Contaminated Waste Sites

Arsenic is the second most prevalent inorganic contaminant at National Priority List sites and the highest rated pollutant on the CERCLA priority list. Arsenic remediation at contaminated sites and mitigation of its release from natural sources depends on sequestration by solids. This project is providing critical insight into the processes that impact arsenic retention by solids and what intervention may be most effective to minimize its mobilization.

Chemical reactions of arsenic occurring at the solid-water interface (including adsorption and desorption, precipitation and dissolution, and reduction and oxidation) not only govern the release of arsenic into water, but form the basis of arsenic removal technologies. Thus, an enhanced fundamental understanding of arsenic behavior at critical solid-water interfaces can be applied to both prevention and remediation of arsenic contamination. Iron-based solids are typically used to remove arsenic from contaminated water and are the typical solids with which arsenic is associated in natural aerobic environments. However, they are unstable when placed in the anoxic environments that typify many arsenic-bearing waste disposal sites. The reverse is true for arsenic associated with sulfides, such as at mine impacted sites, where the shift from anaerobic to aerobic environments stimulates arsenic release. Thus, the behavior of minerals containing iron and sulfide when subjected to changing redox environments is the primary focus of the work.

Group Contacts:
Rob Root and Jon Chorover  

PI: Wendell Ela, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Co-PIs: Jon Chorover, James Farrell, James Field, and Eduardo Saez
Funding Source:

Superfund Research Program
Superfund logo

Selected Project References (click here for full publication list):


Updated September 2, 2016

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