Conference paper

Products of abiotic U(VI) reduction by biogenic magnetite and vivianite

Reductive immobilization of uranium by the stimulation of dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria (DMRB) has been investigated as a remediation strategy for subsurface U(VI) contamination. In those environments, DMRB may utilize a variety of electron acceptors, such as ferric iron which can lead to the formation of reactive biogenic Fe(II) phases. These biogenic phases could potentially mediate abiotic U(VI) reduction. In this work, the DMRB Shewanella putrefaciens strain CN32 was used to synthesize two biogenic Fe(II)-bearing minerals: magnetite (a mixed Fe(II)-Fe(III) oxide) and vivianite (an Fe(II)-phosphate). Analysis of abiotic redox interactions between these biogenic minerals and U(VI) showed that both biogenic minerals reduced U(VI) completely. XAS analysis indicates significant differences in speciation of the reduced uranium after reaction with the two biogenic Fe(II)-bearing minerals. While biogenic magnetite favored the formation of structurally ordered, crystalline UO2, biogenic vivianite led to the formation of a monomeric U(IV) species lacking U-U associations in the corresponding EXAFS spectrum. To investigate the role of phosphate in the formation of monomeric U(IV) such as sorbed U(IV) species complexed by mineral surfaces, versus a U(IV) mineral, uranium was reduced by biogenic magnetite that was pre-sorbed with phosphate. XAS analysis of this sample also revealed the formation of monomeric U(IV) species suggesting that the presence of phosphate hinders formation of UO2. This work shows that U(VI) reduction products formed during in situ biostimulation can be influenced by the mineralogical and geochemical composition of the surrounding environment, as well as by the interfacial solute-solid chemistry of the solid-phase reductant. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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