Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 25, Number 3, July-September 2005
Page(s) 345 - 353
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 25 (2005) 345-353
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2005037

Characterization of soil particles by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

Karine Flogeaca, Emmanuel Guillona, Michel Aplincourta, Eric Marceaub, Lorenzo Stievanob, Patricia Beaunierb and Yves-Michel Frapartc

a  GRECI (Groupe de Recherche En Chimie Inorganique), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France
b  Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR CNRS 7609, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
c  Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie Pharmacologiques et Toxicologiques, UMR CNRS 8601, IFR 95, Université René Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75270 Paris Cedex 06, France

(Accepted 16 February 2005)

Abstract - Knowledge of the structure and composition of the solid phases of a soil is needed to understand the retention mechanisms of transition metals or organic pollutants on the molecular scale. With this aim, the characterization of a soil sample from the Champagne-Ardenne region was carried out using various non-destructive methods such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (TEM-EDX), Mössbauer and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and protometric studies. The combination of these techniques allowed us to obtain a precise knowledge of the solid structure and composition. We showed that soil particles consist of quartz, alumino-silicate and goethite which are partially covered by organic matter. XPS spectra showed that organic matter is preferentially coated onto an alumino-silicate surface. EPR spectroscopy revealed the presence of unexpected vanadyl moieties in the organic matter. Acid-base titrations provided information on available surface sites (0.25 mmol ¥ g-1, i.e. 2.25 sites per nm2), and the point of zero charge pHzpc (3.9).

Key words: soil / XRD / TEM-EDX / EPR / XPS / surface sites

Corresponding author: Emmanuel Guillon

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005