Influence of iron (hydr)oxide mineralogy and contents in aquifer sediments on dissolved organic carbon attenuations during aquifer storage and recovery

Theresia May Anggraini, Seongnam An, Sang Hyun Kim, Man Jae Kwon, Jaeshik Chung, Seunghak Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a promising approach for managing water resources that enhances water quality through biogeochemical reactions occurring within aquifers. Iron (hydr)oxides, which are the predominant metallic oxides in soil, play a crucial role in degrading dissolved organic carbon (DOC), primarily through a process known as dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR). However, the efficiency of this reaction varies depending on the mineralogy and composition of the aquifer, and this understanding is essential for adequate water quality in ASR. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of iron (hydr)oxide on acetate, as an organic carbon source, attenuation during the ASR. To achieve this, three sets of laboratory sediment columns were prepared, each containing a different type of iron (hydr)oxide minerals: ferrihydrite, goethite, and hematite. Following an acclimation period of 28 days to simulate the microcosm within an aquifer, the columns were continuously supplied with the simulated river water spiked with acetate (DOC 40–60 mg L−1), and the acetate concentration in the effluent was monitored. The result revealed that the column containing ferrihydrite achieved 97% acetate attenuation through DIR with anoxic conditions (DO < 0.1 mg L−1), while the goethite and hematite columns exhibited limited attenuation rates of 40 and 50%, respectively. Furthermore, the efficiency of acetate attenuation in the ferrihydrite columns increased with the content of ferrihydrite but experienced a rapidly declined at higher contents (3–4%), possibly due to the partial conversion of ferrihydrite to goethite as a result of the interaction between ferrihydrite and the Fe(II) produced during DIR. Additionally, an analysis of the microbial community demonstrated that microorganisms known to possess the ability to reduce iron (hydr)oxides under anaerobic conditions were abundant in the ferrihydrite columns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141196
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Aquifer storage recovery
  • Dissimilatory iron reduction
  • Ferrihydrite
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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