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INVESTIGATION OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF URANIUM UNDER IRON-REDUCING CONDITIONS: REDUCTION OF UVI BY BIOGENIC FEII/FEIII HYDROXIDE (GREEN RUST)

Description: The recent identification of green rusts (GRs) as products of the reduction of FeIII oxyhydroxides by dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria, coupled with the ability of synthetic (GR) to reduce UVI species to insoluble UO2, suggests that biogenic green rusts (BioGRs) may play an important role in the speciation (and thus mobility) of U in FeIII-reducing environments. The objective of our research was to examine the potential for BioGR to affect the speciation of U under FeIII-reducing conditions. To meet this objective, we designed and executed a hypothesis-driven experimental program to identify key factors leading to the formation of BioGRs as products of dissimilatory FeIII reduction, to determine the key factors controlling the reduction of UVI to UIV by GRs, and to identify the resulting U-bearing mineral phases. The results of this research significantly increase our understanding of the coupling of biotic and abiotic processes with respect to the speciation of U in iron-reducing environments. In particular, the reduction of UVI to UIV by BioGR with the subsequent formation of U-bearing mineral phases may be effective for immobilizing U in suboxic subsurface environments. This information has direct applications to contaminant transport modeling and bioremediation engineering for natural or enhanced in situ remediation of subsurface contamination.
Date: December 31, 2006
Creator: O'Loughlin, Edward J.; Scherer, Michelle M. & Kemner, Kenneth M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department