Speciation and oxidation kinetics of arsenicin the thermal springs of Wiesbaden spa, Germany

Schwenzer, Susanne; Tommaseo, Caterina; Kersten, Michael and Kirnbauer, Thomas (2001). Speciation and oxidation kinetics of arsenicin the thermal springs of Wiesbaden spa, Germany. Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 371(7) pp. 927–933.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s002160101038


Since 1886 arsenic has been known to be present as a trace component in the Wiesbaden thermal waters at concentrations of over 100 μg L-1. In this study for the first time molecular level speciation of arsenic was measured both in the water (by HG–AAS) and in Wellstone scale deposits (by XANES). Most of the arsenic in the anoxic NaCl-type waters is in the reduced arsenite form. Hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) precipitates in the scale deposits scavenge only the minor dissolved arsenate portion which is, however, accumulated up to 3% w/w. Isothermal precipitation experiments at in-situ temperatures showed a difference between the progress of both arsenic and iron oxidation and precipitation. This can be explained in terms of adsorption of the aqueous arsenite and heterogeneous oxidation on the HFO surface, but subsequently rapid release of the arsenate thereby formed back into the aqueous phase at enhanced temperature and increased pH. Such relatively rapid pseudo-homogeneous arsenite oxidation is too slow to efficiently retard the As(III) load already on the wellhead, but fast enough to prevent arsenic seepage into ground water aquifers.

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