Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23607–23619 | Cite as

Insights into the mercury(II) adsorption and binding mechanism onto several typical soils in China

  • Xiuhong Ding
  • Renqing Wang
  • Yuncong Li
  • Yandong Gan
  • Shuwei Liu
  • Jiulan Dai
Research Article


To better understand the Hg(II) adsorption by some typical soils and explore the insights about the binding between Hg(II) and soils, a batch of adsorption and characteristic experiments was conducted. Results showed that Hg(II) adsorption was well fitted by the Langmuir and Freundlich. The maximum adsorption amount of cinnamon soil (2094.73 mg kg−1) was nearly tenfold as much as that of saline soil (229.49 mg kg−1). The specific adsorption of Hg(II) on four soil surface was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) owing to the change of elemental bonding energy after adsorption. However, the specific adsorption is mainly derived from some substances in the soil. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) demonstrated that multiple oxygen-containing functional groups (O–H, C=O, and C–O) were involved in the Hg(II) adsorption, and the content of oxygen functional groups determined the adsorption capacity of the soil. Meanwhile, scanning electron microscopy combined with X-ray energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM–EDS) more intuitive revealed the binding of mercury to organic matter, metal oxides, and clay minerals in the soil and fundamentally confirmed the results of XPS and FTIR to further elucidate adsorptive phenomena. The complexation with oxygen-containing functional groups and the precipitation with minerals were likely the primary mechanisms for Hg(II) adsorption on several typical soils. This study is critical in understanding the transportation of Hg(II) in different soils and discovering potential preventative measures.


Hg(II) Adsorption isotherms Adsorption characterization Binding mechanism Multiple spectral analyses Typical soils 



This research was supported by the Shandong Provincial Key Research and Development Program (no. 2016CYJS05A02), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (no. SQ2017YFNC0601), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (no. 2015M572016), and the Fundamental Research Funds of Shandong University (no. 2014JC048).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment Research InstituteShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.School of Life ScienceShandong UniversityJinanChina
  3. 3.Department of Soil and Water Science, Tropical Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaHomesteadUSA

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