Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.367, 427-436, 2019
Seasonal antimony pollution caused by high mobility of antimony in sediments: In situ evidence and mechanical interpretation
Antimony (Sb) mobilization in sediments and its impact on water quality remained to be studied. In this study, high-resolution dialysis (HR-Peeper) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique were used to measure soluble Sb and labile Sb in sediment-overlying water profiles for a full year in a eutrophic region of Lake Taihu. Results showed that the highest mean concentrations of soluble Sb in overlying water (11.27 and 6.99 mu g/L) appeared in December 2016 and January 2017, due to oxidation of Sb(III) to Sb(V) by Mn and Fe oxides, all of which exceeded the surface or drinking water limits set by China, United States and European Union. From April to November 2016, the concentrations of soluble Sb remained low with small monthly fluctuations and mean values ranging from 1.79 to 2.93 mu g/L. This was attributed to the predominance of insoluble Sb(III) in sediments under anoxic conditions. The concentration of soluble Sb was slightly higher in summer than in autumn, due to the complexation of Sb(III) with DOM, as shown under anaerobic incubation. The mobility of inorganic Sb in sediments was mostly determined by the transition between Sb(III) and Sb(V), with Sb pollution in bottom water during winter being of concern.