Natural colloids are ubiquitous in soils, sediments and natural waters. They control the fate of contaminants because of their extremely reactive surface. Natural colloids are often complex organo-mineral colloids (OMCs). However, binding of contaminants to OMCs cannot be predicted because mechanisms controlling natural organic matter (NOM)-mineral interactions are widely unknown. The C-FACTOR project aims to determine how NOM speciation is affected by its interaction with minerals under various environmental conditions to verify the hypothesis of an existing relationship between composition/size/structure/morphology and surface reactivity of OMCs. Adsorption studies of various contaminants (metals, arsenic, organic contaminants) to OMCs will be conducted to probe the surface reactivity of OMCs and to develop a predictive model of the environmental fate of contaminants accounting for OMCs.
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