Surface complexation of Pb(II) by hexagonal birnessite nanoparticles

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Natural hexagonal birnessite is a poorly-crystalline layer type Mn(IV) oxide precipitated by bacteria and fungi which has a particularly high adsorption affinity for Pb(II). X-ray spectroscopic studies have shown that Pb(II) forms strong inner-sphere surface complexes mainly at two sites on hexagonal birnessite nanoparticles: triple corner-sharing (TCS) complexes on Mn(IV) vacancies in the interlayers and double edge-sharing (DES) complexes on lateral edge surfaces. Although the TCS surface complex has been well characterized by spectroscopy, some important questions remain about the structure and stability of the complexes occurring on the edge surfaces. First-principles simulation techniques such as density functional theory (DFT) ... continued below

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Kwon, K.; Refson, K. & Sposito, G. October 15, 2010.

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Natural hexagonal birnessite is a poorly-crystalline layer type Mn(IV) oxide precipitated by bacteria and fungi which has a particularly high adsorption affinity for Pb(II). X-ray spectroscopic studies have shown that Pb(II) forms strong inner-sphere surface complexes mainly at two sites on hexagonal birnessite nanoparticles: triple corner-sharing (TCS) complexes on Mn(IV) vacancies in the interlayers and double edge-sharing (DES) complexes on lateral edge surfaces. Although the TCS surface complex has been well characterized by spectroscopy, some important questions remain about the structure and stability of the complexes occurring on the edge surfaces. First-principles simulation techniques such as density functional theory (DFT) offer a useful way to address these questions by providing complementary information that is difficult to obtain by spectroscopy. Following this computational approach, we used spin-polarized DFT to perform total-energy-minimization geometry optimizations of several possible Pb(II) surface complexes on model birnessite nanoparticles similar to those that have been studied experimentally. We first validated our DFT calculations by geometry optimizations of (1) the Pb-Mn oxyhydroxide mineral, quenselite (PbMnO{sub 2}OH), and (2) the TCS surface complex, finding good agreement with experimental structural data while uncovering new information about bonding and stability. Our geometry optimizations of several protonated variants of the DES surface complex led us to conclude that the observed edge-surface species is very likely to be this complex if the singly-coordinated terminal O that binds to Pb(II) is protonated. Our geometry optimizations also revealed that an unhydrated double corner-sharing (DCS) species that has been proposed as an alternative to the DES complex is intrinsically unstable on nanoparticle edge surfaces, but could become stabilized if the local coordination environment is well-hydrated. A significant similarity exists in the structural parameters for the TCS complex and those for a DCS edge-surface complex that is protonated in the same manner as the optimal DES complex, which could complicate detecting the DCS complex in X-ray absorption spectra.

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  • Journal Name: Geochimica et Cosmochica Acta; Journal Volume: 74; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2010

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  • Report No.: LBNL-4214E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1004607
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc835683

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  • October 15, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 16, 2016, 5:08 p.m.

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Kwon, K.; Refson, K. & Sposito, G. Surface complexation of Pb(II) by hexagonal birnessite nanoparticles, article, October 15, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835683/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.