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Title: Comparison of the Kinetic Rate Law Parameters for the Dissolution of Natural and Synthetic Autunite in the Presence of Aqueous Bicarbonate Ions

Bicarbonate is one of the most significant components within the uranium geochemical cycle. In aqueous solutions, bicarbonate forms strong complexes with uranium. As such, aqueous bicarbonate may significantly increase the rate of uranium release from uranium minerals. Quantifying the relationship of aqueous bicarbonate concentration to the rate of uranium release during dissolution is critical to understanding the long-term fate of uranium within the environment. Single-pass flow-through (SPTF) experiments were conducted to estimate the rate of uranium release from Na meta-autunite as a function of bicarbonate (0.0005-0.003 M) under the pH range of 6-11 and a temperature range of 5-60oC. Consistent with the results of previous investigation, the rate of uranium release exhibited minimal dependency on temperature; but were strongly dependent on pH. Increasing aqueous bicarbonate concentrations afforded comparable increases in the rate of release of uranium. Most notably under low pH conditions the aqueous bicarbonate resulted in up to 370 fold increases in the rate of uranium release in relative to the rate of uranium release in the absence of bicarbonate. However, the effect of aqueous bicarbonate on the release of uranium was significantly less under higher pH conditions. It is postulated that at high pH values, surface sites aremore » saturated with carbonate, thus the addition of more bicarbonate would have less effect on uranium release.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Chemical Geology, 351:299-309
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States