skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Enhanced U(VI) release from autunite mineral by aerobic Arthrobacter sp. in the presence of aqueous bicarbonate

Abstract

The bacterial effect on U(VI) leaching from the autunite mineral (Ca[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2} {center_dot} 3H{sub 2}O) was investigated to provide a more comprehensive understanding into important microbiological processes affecting autunite stability within subsurface bicarbonate-bearing environments. Experiments were performed in a culture of G975 Arthrobacter oxydans strain, herein referred to as G975, a soil bacterium previously isolated from Hanford Site soil. 91 mg of autunite powder and 50 mL of phosphorus-limiting sterile media were amended with bicarbonate ranging between 1-10 mM in glass reactor bottles and inoculated with G975 strain after the dissolution of autunite was at steady state. SEM observations indicated G975 formed a biofilm on the autunite surface and penetrated the mineral cleavages. The mineral surface colonization by bacteria tended to increase concomitantly with bicarbonate concentrations. Additionally, a sterile cultureware with inserts was used in non-contact bioleaching experiments where autunite and bacteria cells were kept separately. The data suggest the G975 bacteria is able to enhance U(VI) leaching from autunite without the direct contact with the mineral. In the presence of bicarbonate, the damage to bacterial cells caused by U(VI) toxicity was reduced, yielding similar values for total organic carbon (TOC) degradation and cell density compared to U(VI)-freemore » controls. The presence of active bacterial cells greatly enhanced the U(VI) bioleaching from autunite in bicarbonate-amended media.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1038634
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-83650
Journal ID: ISSN 0009-2541; CHGEAD; EY4049110; TRN: US201208%%726
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chemical Geology; Journal Volume: 308-309
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ACID CARBONATES; AUTUNITE; BACTERIA; CARBON; DISSOLUTION; GLASS; LEACHING; SOILS; STABILITY; STRAINS; TOXICITY; Arthrobacter sp; aqueous bicarbonate; toxicity; radionuclides; microscopy

Citation Formats

Katsenovich, Yelena, Carvajal, Denny A., Wellman, Dawn M., and Lagos, Leonel. Enhanced U(VI) release from autunite mineral by aerobic Arthrobacter sp. in the presence of aqueous bicarbonate. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.03.010.
Katsenovich, Yelena, Carvajal, Denny A., Wellman, Dawn M., & Lagos, Leonel. Enhanced U(VI) release from autunite mineral by aerobic Arthrobacter sp. in the presence of aqueous bicarbonate. United States. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.03.010.
Katsenovich, Yelena, Carvajal, Denny A., Wellman, Dawn M., and Lagos, Leonel. Fri . "Enhanced U(VI) release from autunite mineral by aerobic Arthrobacter sp. in the presence of aqueous bicarbonate". United States. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.03.010.
@article{osti_1038634,
title = {Enhanced U(VI) release from autunite mineral by aerobic Arthrobacter sp. in the presence of aqueous bicarbonate},
author = {Katsenovich, Yelena and Carvajal, Denny A. and Wellman, Dawn M. and Lagos, Leonel},
abstractNote = {The bacterial effect on U(VI) leaching from the autunite mineral (Ca[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2} {center_dot} 3H{sub 2}O) was investigated to provide a more comprehensive understanding into important microbiological processes affecting autunite stability within subsurface bicarbonate-bearing environments. Experiments were performed in a culture of G975 Arthrobacter oxydans strain, herein referred to as G975, a soil bacterium previously isolated from Hanford Site soil. 91 mg of autunite powder and 50 mL of phosphorus-limiting sterile media were amended with bicarbonate ranging between 1-10 mM in glass reactor bottles and inoculated with G975 strain after the dissolution of autunite was at steady state. SEM observations indicated G975 formed a biofilm on the autunite surface and penetrated the mineral cleavages. The mineral surface colonization by bacteria tended to increase concomitantly with bicarbonate concentrations. Additionally, a sterile cultureware with inserts was used in non-contact bioleaching experiments where autunite and bacteria cells were kept separately. The data suggest the G975 bacteria is able to enhance U(VI) leaching from autunite without the direct contact with the mineral. In the presence of bicarbonate, the damage to bacterial cells caused by U(VI) toxicity was reduced, yielding similar values for total organic carbon (TOC) degradation and cell density compared to U(VI)-free controls. The presence of active bacterial cells greatly enhanced the U(VI) bioleaching from autunite in bicarbonate-amended media.},
doi = {10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.03.010},
journal = {Chemical Geology},
number = ,
volume = 308-309,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2012},
month = {Fri Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2012}
}
  • The bacterial effect on U(VI) release from the autunite mineral (Ca[(UO2)(PO4)]2•3H2O) was investigated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the important microbiological processes affecting autunite stability within subsurface bicarbonate-bearing environments. Experiments were performed in a culture of the Arthrobacter oxydans G975 strain, herein referred to as G975, a soil bacterium previously isolated from Hanford Site soil. 91 mg of autunite powder and 50 mL of phosphorous-limiting sterile media were amended with bicarbonate (ranging between 1 and 10 mM) in glass reactor bottles and inoculated with the G975 strain after the dissolution of autunite was at steady state. SEM observationsmore » indicated that G975 formed a biofilm on the autunite surface and penetrated the mineral cleavages. The mineral surface colonization by bacteria tended to increase concomitantly with bicarbonate concentrations. Additionally, a sterile culture-ware with inserts was used in non-contact dissolution experiments where autunite and bacteria cells were kept separately. The data suggest that G975 bacteria is able to enhance the release of U(VI) from autunite without direct contact with the mineral. In the presence of bicarbonate, the damage to bacterial cells caused by U(VI) toxicity was reduced, yielding similar values for total organic carbon (TOC) degradation and cell density compared to U(VI)-free controls. The presence of active bacterial cells greatly enhanced the release of U(VI) from autunite in bicarbonate-amended media.« less
  • 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 temperaturesmore » 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 more 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
  • Bacteria are key players in the processes that govern fate and transport of contaminants. The uranium release from Na and Ca-autunite by Arthrobacter oxydans strain G968 was evaluated in the presence of bicarbonate ions. This bacterium was previously isolated from Hanford Site soil and in earlier prescreening tests demonstrated low tolerance to U(VI) toxicity compared to other A.oxydans isolates. Experiments were conducted using glass serum bottles as mixed bioreactors and sterile 6-well cell culture plates with inserts separating bacteria cells from mineral solids. Reactors containing phosphorus-limiting media were amended with bicarbonate ranging between 0-10 mM and metaautunite solids to providemore » a U(VI) concentration of 4.4 mmol/L. Results showed that in the presence of bicarbonate, A.oxydans G968 was able to enhance the release of U(VI) from Na and Ca autunite at the same capacity as other A.oxydans isolates with relatively high tolerance to U(VI). The effect of bacterial strains on autunite dissolution decreases as the concentration of bicarbonate increases. The results illustrate that direct interaction between the bacteria and the mineral is not necessary to result in U (VI) biorelease from autunite. The formation of secondary calcium-phosphate mineral phases on the surface of the mineral during the dissolution can ultimately reduce the natural autunite mineral contact area, which bacterial cells can access. This thereby reduces the concentration of uranium released into the solution. This study provides a better understanding of the interactions between meta-autunite and microbes in conditions mimicking arid and semiarid subsurface environments of western U.S.« less
  • 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. Consistentmore » 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 are saturated with carbonate, thus the addition of more bicarbonate would have less effect on uranium release.« less