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Title: Electron transfer and atom exchange between aqueous Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) in clays. Role in U and Hg(II) transformations

During this project, we investigated Fe electron transfer and atom exchange between aqueous Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) in clay minerals. We used selective chemical extractions, enriched Fe isotope tracer experiments, computational molecular modeling, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Our findings indicate that structural Fe(III) in clay minerals is reduced by aqueous Fe(II) and that electron transfer occurs when Fe(II) is sorbed to either basal planes and edge OH-groups of clay mineral. Findings from highly enriched isotope experiments suggest that up to 30 % of the Fe atoms in the structure of some clay minerals exhanges with aqueous Fe(II). First principles calculations using a small polaron hopping approach suggest surprisingly fast electron mobility at room temperature in a nontronite clay mineral and are consistent with temperature dependent Mössbauer data Fast electron mobility suggests that electrons may be able to conduct through the mineral fast enough to enable exchange of Fe between the aqueous phase and clay mineral structure. over the time periods we observed. Our findings suggest that Fe in clay minerals is not as stable as previously thought.
  1. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES clay minerals; iron; electron transfer