Chemical oxidation of arsenic in the environment and its application in remediation: A mini review

Chaolei YUAN*, Qi LI, Zhaoyang SUN, Wenjun ZHANG, Jiangrong CHEN, Zheng CHEN, Shuo NA, Hongwen SUN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) contamination in soil and water poses a serious threat to the ecosystem health and human beings, and is of widespread concern. The main As species found in soil and water are arsenite As(III) and arsenate As(V). Because As(III) is more toxic and often more mobile than As(V), many remediation strategies aim to oxidize As(III) to As(V). In the environment, the reduction of As(V) under anaerobic conditions is mainly mediated by microorganisms, but the oxidation of As(III) under aerobic conditions can be mediated primarily by chemical processes. This article first reviews the existing knowledge on chemical oxidation of As(III) in the environment, with an emphasis on the roles of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) oxides. The application of Fe and Mn oxides for the remediation of As-contaminated soil and water is then summarized. The oxidation of As(III) by oxygen is very slow in the absence of catalysts. Many Mn oxides, on the other hand, can efficiently oxidize As(III). Although the oxidation of As(III) by Fe(III) is also slow, this process can be accelerated by light or Fe(II). Iron and Mn oxides are widely used for the remediation of As-contaminated soil and water, with Fe oxides generally acting as absorbents while Mn oxides as oxidants. To better understand and regulate As transformation and transport in the environment, further study is needed on the mechanisms and influencing factors of As(III) oxidation by Fe and Mn oxides, and the development of innovative methods and materials based on Fe and Mn oxides are desired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • As contamination
  • iron oxide
  • manganese oxide
  • soil
  • water


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