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Molecular dynamics simulation of organic contaminant adsorption on organic‐coated smectite clay

Author(s): Willemsen, Jennifer AR; Emunah, Meléa; Bourg, Ian C

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Abstract: Molecular dynamics simulations are used to examine the adsorption and aggregation of tyrosine and glutamate molecules on a stack of smectite particles at three different organic loadings. The results reveal a strong affinity of the smectite surface for the organic molecules with the zwitterionic tyrosine molecules coating the exterior surfaces (and entering the interlayer region to a lesser extent), whereas the negatively charged glutamate molecules are generally found near the clay edge sites and in coordination with aqueous and coordinating Ca ions. Additional simulations examine the effects of the tyrosine and glutamate organic coatings on the adsorption of two organic contaminants, dimethyl phthalate (DMP) and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). The addition of these coatings did not prevent the DMP and PFBS molecules from accessing previously identified favorable adsorption domains. An analysis of the adsorption energetics shows an initial decrease in contaminant adsorption relative to pure mineral surfaces as tyrosine and glutamate are introduced to the system, followed by increasing adsorption with increasing organic loadings. Overall, this research advances the mechanistic understanding of the interplay between smectite surfaces, organic coatings, and organic contaminants.
Publication Date: 17-Mar-2022
Electronic Publication Date: 2022
Citation: Willemsen, Jennifer AR, Emunah, Meléa, Bourg, Ian C. (2022). Molecular dynamics simulation of organic contaminant adsorption on organic‐coated smectite clay. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 86 (2), 238 - 252. doi:10.1002/saj2.20364
DOI: doi:10.1002/saj2.20364
ISSN: 0361-5995
EISSN: 1435-0661
Pages: 238 - 252
Language: en
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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