Reactivity of uranium and ferrous iron with natural iron oxyhydroxides
Stewart, B. D.
Cismasu, A. C.
Williams, Kenneth H.
Peyton, Brent M.
Nico, P. S.
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Determining key reaction pathways involving uranium and iron oxyhydroxides under oxic and anoxic conditions is essential for understanding uranium mobility as well as other iron oxyhydroxide mediated processes, particularly near redox boundaries where redox conditions change rapidly in time and space. Here we examine the reactivity of a ferrihydrite-rich sediment from a surface seep adjacent to a redox boundary at the Rifle, Colorado field site. Iron(II)â€“sediment incubation experiments indicate that the natural ferrihydrite fraction of the sediment is not susceptible to reductive transformation under conditions that trigger significant mineralogical transformations of synthetic ferrihydrite. No measurable Fe(II)-promoted transformation was observed when the Rifle sediment was exposed to 30 mM Fe(II) for up to 2 weeks. Incubation of the Rifle sediment with 3 mM Fe(II) and 0.2 mM U(VI) for 15 days shows no measurable incorporation of U(VI) into the mineral structure or reduction of U(VI) to U(IV). Results indicate a significantly decreased reactivity of naturally occurring Fe oxyhydroxides as compared to synthetic minerals, likely due to the association of impurities (e.g., Si, organic matter), with implications for the mobility and bioavailability of uranium and other associated species in field environments.
Stewart BD, Cismasu AC, Williams KH, Peyton BM, Nico PS, "Reactivity of uranium and ferrous iron with natural iron oxyhydroxides," Environmental Science and Technology 2015 49(17): 10357–10365.