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Title: Quantification of Kinetic Rate Law Parameters of Uranium Release from Sodium Autunite as a Function of Aqueous Bicarbonate Concentrations

ABSTRACT: Hydrogen carbonate is one of the most significant components within the uranium geochemical cycle. In aqueous solutions, hydrogen carbonate 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 hydrogen carbonate solutions 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 solutions (0.0005-0.003 M) under the pH range of 6-11 and temperatures of 5-60oC. Consistent with the results of previous investigation, the rate of uranium release from sodium autunite exhibited minimal dependency on temperature; but were strongly dependent on pH and increasing concentrations of bicarbonate solutions. Most notably at pH 7, the rate of uranium release exhibited 370 fold increases relative to the rate of uranium release in the absence of bicarbonate. However, the effect of increasing concentrations of bicarbonate solutions on the release of uranium was significantly less under higher pH conditions. It is postulated that at high pH values, surface sites are saturated with carbonate, thus the addition of moremore » bicarbonate would have less effect on uranium release. Results indicate the activation energies were unaffected by temperature and bicarbonate concentration variations, but were strongly dependent on pH conditions. As pH increased from 6 to 11, activation energy values were observed to decrease from 29.94 kJ mol-1 to 13.07 kJ mol-1. The calculated activation energies suggest a surface controlled dissolution mechanism.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Environmental Chemistry, 10(6):475-485
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Quantification; Uranium; Sodium Autonite; Kinetic; Aqueous Bicarbonate