Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 18, pp 17509–17518 | Cite as

Effect of mono and divalent salts on the conformation and composition of a humic acid and on atrazine adsorption

  • Luis C. González-Márquez
  • Anne M. Hansen
  • Fernando A. González-Farias
Research Article


We investigated the effects of sodium and calcium chlorides on the conformation and composition of a purified Aldrich humic acid (PAHA), as well as on the adsorption of atrazine. The PAHA was treated with 1, 10, and 100 mM NaCl, CaCl2, or a mixture of NaCl and CaCl2 (molar ratio 5:1) at pH 7.5 and 8.5. The conformation of treated PAHA was characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and spectral changes of functional groups of PAHA by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). AFM and TEM images showed an increase in the aggregation of the PAHA as salinity increased. FTIR spectra revealed that changes in the aggregation of the PAHA were principally due to the formation of bridged interactions between calcium and carboxylate groups in the PAHA. The adsorption of atrazine on > 0.45 μm PAHA decreased as salt concentrations and pH increased. This reduction of atrazine adsorption was explained by the decrease in available adsorption sites due to agglomeration of PAHA.


Herbicide Organic matter Salinity Sodium Calcium TEM AFM FTIR 



This work was supported by CNA-CONACYT (contract no. CNA-2000-01-032) and The Mexican Institute of Water Technology (project no. TH0803.1). A doctoral scholarship was provided by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) for Luis Carlos González-Márquez (scholarship number 7430). We would like to thank Prof. James O. Leckie for his very important comments and suggestions as well as for the opportunity to carry out part of this research at the Environmental Engineering Research Laboratory at Stanford University, and Federico Pacheco for his technical support with the TEM and AFM imaging.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de OccidenteGuasaveMéxico
  2. 2.Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del AguaJiutepecMexico
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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