Different erionite species bind iron into the structure: A potential explanation for fibrous erionite toxicity

Alessandro Pacella, Carlo Cremisini, Elisa Nardi, Maria Rita Montereali, Ida Pettiti, Matteo Giordani, Michele Mattioli, Paolo Ballirano

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In this investigation, the crystal chemical characterization of one sample of woolly erionite-K (Lander County, NV, USA) was examined after suspension in a FeCl2solution, in anaerobic conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the chemical composition of erionite on its efficiency to bind iron. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) results showed that the sample bound Fe(II) through an ion-exchange mechanism mainly involving Ca. In addition, chemical and structural data indicated that Fe(II) is fixed at the Ca3 site, six-fold coordinated to water molecules. According to Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) sample surface area the amount of Fe(II) bound by the fibers was comparable with that retrieved for fibrous erionite-Na sample from Rome (OR, USA) for which the ion-exchange process mainly affected Na. This finding provides clear evidence of a strong tendency of Fe(II) to bind to the erionite structure. Furthermore, considering that the woolly erionite-K from Langer County differs markedly from erionite-Na from Rome in the extra-framework cation content, our observations indicate that the Fe binding efficiency is not significantly modulated by the chemical composition. Notably, Fe ion-exchanged and/or accumulated on the fiber surface can generate hydroxyl radicals via the Fenton reaction, thus influencing the potential carcinogenicity of the different erionite species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)-
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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