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Title: Developing a molecular picture of soil organic matter–mineral interactions by quantifying organo–mineral binding

Long residence times of soil organic matter have been attributed to reactive mineral surface sites that sorb organic species and cause inaccessibility due to isolation and chemical stabilization at the organic-mineral interface. Instrumentation for probing this interface is limited. As a result, much of the micron- and molecular-scale knowledge about organic-mineral interactions remains largely qualitative. We report the use of force spectroscopy to directly measure the binding between organic ligands with known chemical functionalities to soil minerals in aqueous environments. By systematically studying the role of organic functional group chemistry with model minerals, we demonstrate that the chemistry of both the organic ligand and mineral contribute to values of binding free energy and that changes in pH and ionic strength produce significant differences in binding energies. These direct measurements of molecular binding provide mechanistic insights into organo-mineral interactions, which could potentially inform land-carbon models that explicitly include mineral-bound C pools.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-124131; PNNL-SA-121086
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 58 GEOSCIENCES; soil organic matter; dynamic force microscopy; mineral; interface; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory; Carbon cycle; Geochemistry
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1398203