PNG 550
Reactive Transport in the Subsurface

Lesson 3: Surface Complexation


This unit introduces general principles of surface complexation reactions, as well as how to set up models of surface complexation in well-mixed batch reactors in CrunchFlow.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Understand what are surface complexation reactions;
  • Understand fundamental principles and important parameters for surface complexation
  • Simulate surface complexation reactions in well-mixed batch reactors in CrunchFlow

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson Roadmap
To Read
  1. Chapter 10 in Aqueous Environmental geochemistry (1997) by Langmuir, D.;
  2. Chapter 7 in Geochemistry, groundwater, and pollution, 2nd edition, by C. A. J. Appelo and D. Postma, 2005
  3. Portion of the CrunchFlow manual on page 63-64, 69.
  4. Example 4 in CrunchFlow exercise group.
  5. (optional) Relevant sections on surface complexation in Phreeqc manual, including example 8, if you run phreeqc
To Do
  • Homework 


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum (not e-mail), located in Canvas. The TA and I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.