Antimony is detected in soil and water with elevated concentration due to a variety of industrial applications and mining activities. Though antimony is classified as a pollutant of priority interest by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Europe Union (EU), very little is known about its environmental behavior and adsorption mechanism. In this study, the adsorption behaviors and surface structure of antimony (III/V) on iron oxides were investigated using batch adsorption techniques, surface complexation modeling (SCM), X-ray photon spectroscopy (XPS) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS). The adsorption isotherms and edges indicated that the affinity of Sb(V) and Sb(III) toward the iron oxides depended on the Sb species, solution pH, and the characteristics of iron oxides. Sb(V) adsorption was favored at acidic pH and decreased dramatically with increasing pH, while Sb(III) adsorption was constant over a broad pH range. When pH is higher than 7, Sb(III) adsorption by goethite and hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) was greater than Sb(V). EXAFS analysis indicated that the majority of Sb(III), either adsorbed onto HFO or co-precipitated by FeCl3, was oxidized into Sb(V) probably due to the involvement of O-2 in the long duration of sample preservation. Only one Sb-Fe subshell was filtered in the EXAFS spectra of antimony adsorption onto HFO, with the coordination number of 1.0-1.9 attributed to bidentate mononuclear edge-sharing (E-2) between Sb and HFO. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.