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Title: Abiotic U(VI) Reduction by Sorbed Fe(II) on Natural Sediments

Laboratory experiments were performed as a function of aqueous Fe(II) concentration to determine the uptake and oxidation of Fe(II), and Fe(II)-mediated abiotic reduction of U(VI) by aquifer sediments from the Rifle IFRC field site in Colorado, USA. Mössbauer analysis of the sediments spiked with aqueous 57Fe(II) showed that 57Fe(II) was oxidized on the mineral surfaces to 57Fe(III) and most likely formed a nano-particulate Fe(III)-oxide or ferrihydrite-like phase. The extent of 57Fe oxidation decreased with increasing 57Fe(II) uptake, such that 100 % was oxidized at 7.3 μmol/g Fe and 52 % at 39.6 μmol/g Fe, indicating that the sediments had a finite capacity for oxidation of Fe(II). Abiotic U(VI) reduction was observed by XANES spectroscopy only when the Fe(II) uptake was greater than approximately 20 μmol/g and surface-bound Fe(II) was present. The level of U(VI) reduction increased with increasing Fe(II)- loading above this level to a maximum of 18 and 36 % U(IV) at pH 7.2 (40.7 μmol/g Fe) and 8.3 (56.1 μmol/g Fe), respectively in the presence of 400 ppm CO2. Greater U(VI) reduction was observed in CO2 free systems [up to 44 and 54 % at pH 7.2 (17.3 μmol/g Fe) and 8.3 (54.8 μmol/g Fe), respectively] compared tomore » 400 ppm CO2 systems, presumably due to differences in aqueous U(VI) speciation. While pH affects the amount of Fe(II) uptake onto the solid phase, with greater Fe(II) uptake at higher pH, similar amounts of U(VI) reduction were observed at pH 7.2 and 8.3 for a similar Fe(II) uptake. Thus, it appears that abiotic U(VI) reduction is controlled primarily by Fe(II) concentration and aqueous U(VI) speciation. The range of Fe(II) loadings tested in this study are within the range observed in bioreduced sediments, suggesting that Fe(II)-mediated abiotic U(VI) reduction may indeed play a role in field settings.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
40095; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 117:266-282
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory