Hydrous manganese oxide doped gel probe sampler for measuring in situ reductive dissolution rates. 1. Laboratory development
Reductive dissolution of redox-sensitive minerals such as manganese (Mn) oxides in natural sediments is an important mechanism for trace element mobilization into groundwater. A gel probe sampler has been constructed to study in situ reductive dissolution of Mn oxides. The gel consists of a polyacrylamide polymer matrix doped with hydrous Mn oxide (HMO). Gel slabs are mounted into a probe, which is designed to be inserted into the sediments. The amount of Mn released from the gel by reductive dissolution is determined by comparing the amount of Mn initially embedded into the gel with the amount remaining in the gel after exposure to conditions in the sediments or, in laboratory studies, to reducing agents. In this laboratory study, the performance of the gel probes was examined using the model reductant ascorbate and the Mnreducing bacteria Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1. In addition, a 1-D model was used to relate the reaction rates observed for HMO embedded in gels to those for HMO in suspension. One limitation of the HMO-doped gels for assessing microbial reduction rates is that the gels prevent direct contact between the microbes and theHMOand hence preclude enzymatic reduction at the cell surface. Nonetheless, the HMOdoped gel probes offer the possibility to establish a lower bound for Mn-reduction capacity in sediments. © 2010 American Chemical Society.