High-resolution mineralogical characterization and biogeochemical modeling of uranium reaction pathways at the FRC

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High-Resolution Mineralogical Characterization and Biogeochemical Modeling of Uranium Reduction Pathways at the Oak Ridge Field-Research Center (FRC) Chen Zhu, Indiana University, David R. Veblen, Johns Hopkins University We have successfully completed a proof-of-concept, one-year grant on a three-year proposal from the former NABIR program, and here we seek additional two-year funding to complete and publish the research. Using a state-of-the-art 300-kV, atomic resolution, Field Emission Gun Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), we have successfully identified three categories of mineral hosts for uranium in contaminated soils: (1) iron oxides; (2) mixed manganese-iron oxides; and (3) uranium phosphates. Method development using parallel electron ... continued below

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Zhu, Chen June 15, 2006.

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High-Resolution Mineralogical Characterization and Biogeochemical Modeling of Uranium Reduction Pathways at the Oak Ridge Field-Research Center (FRC) Chen Zhu, Indiana University, David R. Veblen, Johns Hopkins University We have successfully completed a proof-of-concept, one-year grant on a three-year proposal from the former NABIR program, and here we seek additional two-year funding to complete and publish the research. Using a state-of-the-art 300-kV, atomic resolution, Field Emission Gun Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), we have successfully identified three categories of mineral hosts for uranium in contaminated soils: (1) iron oxides; (2) mixed manganese-iron oxides; and (3) uranium phosphates. Method development using parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) associated with the TEM shows great promise for characterizing the valence states of immobilized U during bioremediation. We have also collected 27 groundwater samples from two push-pull field biostimulation tests, which form two time series from zero to approximately 600 hours. The temporal evolution in major cations, anions, trace elements, and the stable isotopes 34S, 18O in sulfate, 15N in nitrate, and 13C in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) clearly show that biostimulation resulted in reduction of nitrate, Mn(IV), Fe(III), U(VI), sulfate, and Tc(VII), and these reduction reactions were intimately coupled with a complex network of inorganic reactions evident from alkalinity, pH, Na, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations. From these temporal trends, apparent zero order rates were regressed. However, our extensive suite of chemical and isotopic data sets, perhaps the first and only comprehensive data set available at the FRC, show that the derived rates from these field biostimulation experiments are composite and lump-sum rates. There were several reactions that were occurring at the same time but were masked by these pseudo-zero order rates. A reaction-path model comprising a total of nine redox couples (NO3–/NH4+, MnO2(s)/Mn2+, Fe(OH)3(s) /Fe2+, TcO4–/TcO2(s), UO22+/UO2(s), SO42–/HS–, CO2/CH4, ethanol/acetate, and H+/H2.) is used to simulate the temporal biogeochemical evolution observed in the field tests. Preliminary results show that the models based on thermodynamics and more complex rate laws can generate the apparent zero order rates when several concurrent or competing reactions occur. Professor Alex Halliday of Oxford University, UK, and his postdoctoral associates are measuring the uranium isotopes in our groundwater samples. Newly developed state-of-the-art analytical techniques in measuring variability in 235U/238U offer the potential to distinguish biotic and abiotic uranium reductive mechanisms.

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  • Report No.: DOE-ER63740-1
  • Grant Number: FG02-04ER63740
  • DOI: 10.2172/883644 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 883644
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc892238

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  • June 15, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 23, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 8:46 p.m.

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Zhu, Chen. High-resolution mineralogical characterization and biogeochemical modeling of uranium reaction pathways at the FRC, report, June 15, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc892238/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.