Trace metal speciation in saline waters affected by geothermal brines. Final technical report. [GEOCHEM]
Description: The computer program GEOCHEM was developed and applied to calculate the speciation of trace elements, such as Li, B, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, and As, in mixtures of geothermal brines with soil waters. A typical speciation calculation involved the simultaneous consideration of about 350 inorganic and organic complexes and about 80 possible solid phases that could form among the macro- and microconstituents in the mixtures. The four geothermal brines chosen for study were from the East Mesa, Heber, and Salton Sea KGRA's. Two examples of East Mesa brine were employed in order to illustrate the effect of brine variability within a given KGRA. The soil waters chosen for study were the Holtville, Rosita, and Vint soil solutions and the Vail 4 drain water. These waters were mixed with the four brines to produce 1%, 5%, and 10% brine combinations. The combinations then were analyzed with the help of GEOCHEM and were interpreted in the context of two proposed general contamination scenarios. The results of the speciation calculations pointed to the great importance, in brine, of sulfide as a precipitating agent for trace metals and of borate as a trace metal-complexing ligand. In general, precipitation and/or exchange adsorption in soil were found to reduce the levels of trace metals well below harmful concentrations. The principal exceptions were Li and B, which did not precipitate and which were at or very hear harmful levels in the soil water-brine mixtures.
Date: July 1, 1979
Creator: Sposito, G.
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