Scott Fendorf, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Calcium-Uranyl-Carbonato Species Kinetically Limit U(VI) Reduction by Fe(II) and Lead to U(V)-Bearing Ferrihydrite.
Environmental science & technology
Reaction conditions and mechanisms promoting or inhibiting U reduction exert a central control on U solubility and, therefore, U transport and its associated risks. Here, we vary and track common aqueous uranium species to show that a kinetic restriction inhibits homogeneous reduction of the calcium-uranyl-carbonato species (CaUO2(CO3)32- and Ca2UO2(CO3)3) by Fe(II)(aq), while ferrihydrite surface-catalyzed reduction of all aqueous uranyl by Fe(II) proceeds. Using U L3 high energy resolution fluorescence detection (HERFD) X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, U L3 extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we also show that U(V) is generated and incorporated into ferrihydrite formed from homogeneous U(VI) reduction by Fe(II)(aq). Through elucidation of the mechanisms that inhibit reduction of the calcium-uranyl-carbonato species and promote stabilization of U(V), we advance our understanding of the controls on U solubility and thus improve prediction of U transport in surface and subsurface systems.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.9b05870
View details for PubMedID 32315524