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Article

Mineral Dust and Iron Solubility: Effects of Composition, Particle Size, and Surface Area

1
School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604, USA
2
School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-6004, USA
3
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208-9020, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050533
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Formation and Transformation of Atmospheric Soluble Iron)
There is significant iron deposition in the oceans, approximately 14–16 Tg annually from mineral dust aerosols, but only a small percentage (approx. 3%) of it is soluble and, thus, bioavailable. In this work, we examine the effect of mineralogy, particle size, and surface area on iron solubility in pure mineral phases to simulate atmospheric processing of mineral dust aerosols during transport. Pure iron-bearing minerals common to Saharan dust were partitioned into four size fractions (10–2.5, 2.5–1, 1–0.5, and 0.5–0.25 µm) and extracted into moderately acidic (pH 4.3) and acidic (pH 1.7) leaching media to simulate mineral processing during atmospheric transport. Results show that, in general, pure iron-bearing clay materials present an iron solubility (% dissolved Fe/total Fe in the mineral) an order of magnitude higher than pure iron oxide minerals. The relative solubility of iron in clay particles does not depend on particle size for the ranges examined (0.25–10 μm), while iron in hematite and magnetite shows a trend of increasing solubility with decreasing particle size in the acidic leaching medium. Our results indicate that while mineralogy and aerosol pH have an effect on the solubilization of iron from simulated mineral dust particles, surface processes of the aerosol might also have a role in iron solubilization during transport. The surface area of clay minerals does not change significantly as a function of particle size (10–0.25 µm), while the surface area of iron oxides is strongly size dependent. Overall, these results show how mineralogy and particle size can influence iron solubility in atmospheric dust. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron solubility; mineral dust aerosols; particle size; ICP-MS iron solubility; mineral dust aerosols; particle size; ICP-MS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marcotte, A.R.; Anbar, A.D.; Majestic, B.J.; Herckes, P. Mineral Dust and Iron Solubility: Effects of Composition, Particle Size, and Surface Area. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 533. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050533

AMA Style

Marcotte AR, Anbar AD, Majestic BJ, Herckes P. Mineral Dust and Iron Solubility: Effects of Composition, Particle Size, and Surface Area. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(5):533. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050533

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marcotte, Aurelie R., Ariel D. Anbar, Brian J. Majestic, and Pierre Herckes. 2020. "Mineral Dust and Iron Solubility: Effects of Composition, Particle Size, and Surface Area" Atmosphere 11, no. 5: 533. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050533

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