Multiple Approaches to Assess Copper Behavior in Soils from a Tropical Savanna Toposequence

  • Milenna Milhomem Sena
  • Guilherme Borges Alcântara
  • Jader Galba Busato
  • Antonio Carlos Saraiva da Costa
  • Fernando Fabriz SodréEmail author
Research paper


In the current study, sorption isotherms, and kinetic and thermodynamic experiments were carried out to assess copper behavior in four soils from a toposequence located in the Brazilian Tropical Savanna (Cerrado). Adsorption data were investigated using non-linear regressions based on the models of Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Dubinin–Radushkevich. Results were better described by Freundlich model, where the constant KF, related to the maximum copper adsorption capacity, varied from 0.68 ± 0.04 to 0.13 ± 0.02 mg/g and was mainly influenced by organic matter and 2:1 clays, where less weathered soils present higher concentration of stable adsorption sites. Kinetic parameters revealed that chemisorption was the rate-limiting step, while thermodynamic experiments show that the copper adsorption was spontaneous, endothermic and occurs with increase in system disorder due to desolvation. In the toposequence, results evidenced higher probability of environment contamination in the ferralsols, since copper exhibits weaker interaction with soil binding sites, mostly iron and aluminum sesquioxides.


Copper sorption Adsorption isotherms Brazilian Cerrado 2:1 phyllosilicates Soil organic matter 



The authors thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for the financial support (480410/2012-7). The authors also acknowledge Dr. Tairone Paiva Leão (FAV/UnB) for his help in the soil texture analysis and Dr. Edi Mendes Guimarães (IG/UnB) for her assistance in obtaining the first results involving X-Ray Diffraction analysis. We are also grateful to the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Brasília (IFB) for giving a partial license to the first author carry out this research.


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© University of Tehran 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary MedicineUniversity of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyState University of MaringáMaringáBrazil

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