Reductive dissolution of As(V)-bearing Fe(III)-precipitates formed by Fe(II) oxidation in aqueous solutions.
ABSTRACT: Iron(III)-precipitates formed by the oxidation of dissolved Fe(II) are important sorbents for major and trace elements in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Their reductive dissolution in turn may result in the release of associated elements. We examined the reductive dissolution kinetics of an environmentally relevant set of Fe(II)-derived arsenate-containing Fe(III)-precipitates whose structure as function of phosphate (P) and silicate (Si) content varied between poorly-crystalline lepidocrocite, amorphous Fe(III)-phosphate, and Si-containing ferrihydrite. The experiments were performed with 0.2-0.5 mM precipitate-Fe(III) using 10 mM Na-ascorbate as reductant, 5 mM bipyridine as Fe(II)-complexing ligand, and 10 mM MOPS/5 mM NaOH as pH 7.0 buffer. Times required for the dissolution of half of the precipitate (t50%) ranged from 1.5 to 39 h; spanning a factor 25 range. At loadings up to ~?0.2 P/Fe (molar ratio), phosphate decreased the t50% of Si-free precipitates, probably by reducing the crystallinity of lepidocrocite. The reductive dissolution of Fe(III)-phosphates formed at higher P/Fe ratios was again slower, possibly due to P-inhibited ascorbate binding to precipitate-Fe(III). The slowest reductive dissolution was observed for P-free Si-ferrihydrite with ~?0.1 Si/Fe, suggesting that silicate binding and polymerization may reduce surface accessibility. The inhibiting effect of Si was reduced by phosphate. Dried-resuspended precipitates dissolved 1.0 to 1.8-times more slowly than precipitates that were kept wet after synthesis, most probably because drying enhanced nanoparticle aggregation. Variations in the reductive dissolution kinetics of Fe(II) oxidation products as reported from this study should be taken into account when addressing the impact of such precipitates on the environmental cycling of co-transformed nutrients and contaminants.
Project description:Prior to atmospheric oxygenation, ecosystems were exposed to higher UV radiation fluxes relative to modern surface environments. Iron-silica mineral coatings have been evoked as effective UV radiation shields in early terrestrial settings. Here we test whether similar protection applied to planktonic cyanobacteria within the Archean water column. Based on experiments done under Archean seawater conditions, we report that Fe(III)-Si-rich precipitates absorb up to 70% of incoming UV-C radiation, with a reduction of <20% in photosynthetically active radiation flux. However, we demonstrate that even short periods of UV-C irradiation in the presence of Fe(III)-Si precipitates resulted in high mortality rates, and suggest that these effects would have persisted throughout much of the photic zone. Our findings imply that despite the shielding properties of Fe(III)-Si-rich precipitates in the early water column, UV radiation would continue to limit cyanobacterial expansion and likely had a greater effect on Archean ecosystem structure before the formation of an ozone layer.
Project description:Chrysotile asbestos is a soil pollutant in many countries. It is a carcinogenic mineral, partly due to its surface chemistry. In chrysotile, Fe<sup>II</sup> and Fe<sup>III</sup> substitute Mg octahedra (Fe), and Fe<sup>III</sup> substitutes Si tetrahedra (Fe). Fe on fiber surfaces can generate hydroxyl radicals (HO<sup>.</sup> ) in Fenton reactions, which damage biomolecules. To better understand chrysotile weathering in soils, net Mg and Si dissolution rates over the pH range 3.0-11.5 were determined in the presence and absence of biogenic ligands. Also, HO<sup>.</sup> generation and Fe bulk speciation of pristine and weathered fibers were examined by EPR and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Dissolution rates were increased by ligands and inversely related to pH with complete inhibition at cement pH (11.5). Surface-exposed Mg layers readily dissolved at low pH, but only after days at neutral pH. On longer timescales, the slow dissolution of Si layers became rate-determining. In the absence of ligands, Fe precipitated as Fenton-inactive Fe phases, whereas Fe (7?% of bulk Fe) remained redox-active throughout two-week experiments and at pH?7.5 generated 50±10?% of the HO<sup>.</sup> yield of Fe at pristine fiber surfaces. Ligand-promoted dissolution of Fe (and potentially Al) labilized exposed Si layers. This increased Si and Mg dissolution rates and lowered HO<sup>.</sup> generation to near-background level. It is concluded that Fe surface species control long-term HO<sup>.</sup> generation and dissolution rates of chrysotile at natural soil pH.
Project description:Mobilization of Arsenic in groundwater is primarily induced by reductive dissolution of As-rich Fe(III) oxyhydroxides under anoxic conditions. Creating a well-controlled artificial environment that favors oxidative precipitation of Fe(II) and subsequent oxidation and uptake of aqueous As can serve as a remediation strategy. We reported a proof of concept study of a novel iron-based dual anode system for As(III) oxidation and removal in synthetic groundwater. An iron anode was used to produce Fe(II) under iron-deficient conditions, and another inert anode was used to generate O2 for oxidative precipitation of Fe(II). For 30 min's treatment, 6.67 ?M (500 ?g/L) of As(III) was completely oxidized and removed from the solution during the oxidative precipitation process when a total current of 60 mA was equally partitioned between the two anodes. The current on the inert anode determined the rate of O2 generation and was linearly related to the rates of Fe(II) oxidation and of As oxidation and removal, suggesting that the process could be manipulated electrochemically. The composition of Fe precipitates transformed from carbonate green rust to amorphous iron oxyhydroxide as the inert anode current increased. A conceptual model was proposed for the in situ application of the electrochemically induced oxidative precipitation process for As(III) remediation.
Project description:Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides are electron acceptors for some hyperthermophilic archaea in mildly reducing geothermal environments. However, the kinds of iron oxides that can be used, growth rates, extent of iron reduction, and the morphological changes that occur to minerals are poorly understood. The hyperthermophilic iron-reducing crenarchaea Pyrodictium delaneyi and Pyrobaculum islandicum were grown separately on six different synthetic nanophase Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides. For both organisms, growth on ferrihydrite produced the highest growth rates and the largest amounts of Fe(II), although P. delaneyi produced four times more Fe(II) (25 mM) than P. islandicum (6 mM). Both organisms grew on lepidocrocite and akaganéite and produced 2 and 3 mM Fe(II). Modest growth occurred for both organisms on goethite, hematite, and maghemite where ?1 mM Fe(II) was produced. The diameters of the spherical mineral end-products following P. delaneyi growth increased by 30 nm for ferrihydrite and 50-150 nm for lepidocrocite relative to heated abiotic controls. For akaganéite, spherical particle sizes were the same for P. delaneyi-reacted samples and heated abiotic controls, but the spherical particles were more numerous in the P. delaneyi samples. For P. islandicum, there was no increase in grain size for the mineral end-products following growth on ferrihydrite, lepidocrocite, or akaganéite relative to the heated abiotic controls. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy of lattice fringes and selected-area electron diffraction of the minerals produced by both organisms when grown on ferrihydrite showed that magnetite and/or possibly maghemite were the end-products while the heated abiotic controls only contained ferrihydrite. These results expand the current view of bioavailable Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides for reduction by hyperthermophilic archaea when presented as synthetic nanophase minerals. They show that growth and reduction rates are inversely correlated with the iron (oxyhydr)oxide crystallinity and that iron (oxyhydr)oxide mineral transformation takes different forms for these two organisms.
Project description:Dissolution of Fe(III) phases is a key process in making iron available to biota and in the mobilization of associated trace elements. Recently, we have demonstrated that submicromolar concentrations of Fe(II) significantly accelerate rates of ligand-controlled dissolution of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides at circumneutral pH. Here, we extend this work by studying isotope exchange and dissolution with lepidocrocite (Lp) and goethite (Gt) in the presence of 20 or 50 ?M desferrioxamine-B (DFOB). Experiments with Lp at pH 7.0 were conducted in carbonate-buffered suspensions to mimic environmental conditions. We applied a simple empirical model to determine dissolution rates and a more complex kinetic model that accounts for the observed isotope exchange and catalytic effect of Fe(II). The fate of added tracer 57Fe(II) was strongly dependent on the order of addition of 57Fe(II) and ligand. When DFOB was added first, tracer 57Fe remained in solution. When 57Fe(II) was added first, isotope exchange between surface and solution could be observed at pH 6.0 but not at pH 7.0 and 8.5 where 57Fe(II) was almost completely adsorbed. During dissolution of Lp with DFOB, ratios of released 56Fe and 57Fe were largely independent of DFOB concentrations. In the absence of DFOB, addition of phenanthroline 30 min after tracer 57Fe desorbed predominantly 56Fe(II), indicating that electron transfer from adsorbed 57Fe to 56Fe of the Lp surface occurs on a time scale of minutes to hours. In contrast, comparable experiments with Gt desorbed predominantly 57Fe(II), suggesting a longer time scale for electron transfer on the Gt surface. Our results show that addition of 1-5 ?M Fe(II) leads to dynamic charge transfer between dissolved and adsorbed species and to isotope exchange at the surface, with the dissolution of Lp by ligands accelerated by up to 60-fold.
Project description:The environmental fate of major (e.g. C, N, S, Fe and Mn) and trace (e.g. As, Cr, Sb, Se and U) elements is governed by microbially catalysed reduction-oxidation (redox) reactions. Mesocosms are routinely used to elucidate trace metal fate on the basis of correlations between biogeochemical proxies such as dissolved element concentrations, trace element speciation and dissolved organic matter. However, several redox processes may proceed simultaneously in natural soils and sediments (particularly, reductive Mn and Fe dissolution and metal/metalloid reduction), having a contrasting effect on element mobility. Here, a novel redox-stat (R<sub>cont</sub>) bioreactor allowed precise control of the redox potential (159?±?11 mV, ~?2 months), suppressing redox reactions thermodynamically favoured at lower redox potential (i.e. reductive mobilisation of Fe and As). For a historically contaminated mining soil, As release could be attributed to desorption of arsenite [As(III)] and Mn reductive dissolution. By contrast, the control bioreactor (R<sub>nat</sub>, with naturally developing redox potential) showed almost double As release (337 vs. 181 ?g g<sup>-1</sup>) due to reductive dissolution of Fe (1363 ?g g<sup>-1</sup> Fe<sup>2+</sup> released; no Fe<sup>2+</sup> detected in R<sub>cont</sub>) and microbial arsenate [As(V)] reduction (189 ?g g<sup>-1</sup> released vs. 46 ?g g<sup>-1</sup> As(III) in R<sub>cont</sub>). A redox-stat bioreactor thus represents a versatile tool to study processes underlying mobilisation and sequestration of other trace elements as well.
Project description:Oscillations between reducing and oxidizing conditions are observed at the interface of anaerobic/oxic and anaerobic/anoxic environments, and are often stimulated by an alternating flux of electron donors (e.g., organic carbon) and electron acceptors (e.g., O2 and NO3(-)). In iron (Fe) rich soils and sediments, these oscillations may stimulate the growth of both Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) and Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB), and their metabolism may induce cycling between Fe(II) and Fe(III), promoting the transformation of Fe (hydr)oxide minerals. Here, we examine the mineralogical evolution of lepidocrocite and ferrihydrite, and the adaptation of a natural microbial community to alternating Fe-reducing (anaerobic with addition of glucose) and Fe-oxidizing (with addition of nitrate or air) conditions. The growth of FeRB (e.g., Geobacter) is stimulated under anaerobic conditions in the presence of glucose. However, the abundance of these organisms depends on the availability of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides. Redox cycling with nitrate results in decreased Fe(II) oxidation thereby decreasing the availability of Fe(III) for FeRB. Additionally, magnetite is detected as the main product of both lepidocrocite and ferrihydrite reduction. In contrast, introduction of air results in increased Fe(II) oxidation, increasing the availability of Fe(III) and the abundance of Geobacter. In the lepidocrocite reactors, Fe(II) oxidation by dissolved O2 promotes the formation of ferrihydrite and lepidocrocite, whereas in the ferrihydrite reactors we observe a decrease in magnetite stoichiometry (e.g., oxidation). Understanding Fe (hydr)oxide transformation under environmentally relevant redox cycling conditions provides insight into nutrient availability and transport, contaminant mobility, and microbial metabolism in soils and sediments.
Project description:The impact on U(VI) adsorbed to lepidocrocite (?-FeOOH) and hematite (?-Fe2O3) was assessed when exposed to aqueous sulfide (S(-II)aq) at pH 8.0. With both minerals, competition between S(-II) and U(VI) for surface sites caused instantaneous release of adsorbed U(VI). Compared to lepidocrocite, consumption of S(-II)aq proceeded slower with hematite, but yielded maximum dissolved U concentrations that were more than 10 times higher, representing about one-third of the initially adsorbed U. Prolonged presence of S(-II)aq in experiments with hematite in combination with a larger release of adsorbed U(VI), enhanced the reduction of U(VI): after 24 h of reaction about 60-70% of U was in the form of U(IV), much higher than the 25% detected in the lepidocrocite suspensions. X-ray absorption spectra indicated that U(IV) in both hematite and lepidocrocite suspensions was not in the form of uraninite (UO2). Upon exposure to oxygen only part of U(IV) reoxidized, suggesting that monomeric U(IV) might have become incorporated in newly formed iron precipitates. Hence, sulfidization of Fe oxides can have diverse consequences for U mobility: in short-term, desorption of U(VI) increases U mobility, while reduction to U(IV) and its possible incorporation in Fe transformation products may lead to long-term U immobilization.
Project description:Atomic scale characterization of fine precipitates in an under-aged Cu added Al-Mg-Si alloy was carried out by combination of atomically-resolved annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Two types of precipitates were observed in the alloy. In the case of ordered ?" precipitates, ?" was proposed as Mg<sub>5-x</sub>Al<sub>2+x</sub>Si<sub>4</sub> (x ? 1) with solute Cu atoms replacing Al site of ?" precipitate. In the case of disordered precipitates, the precipitates were found to consist of ?" sub-unit cells, three-fold symmetric structure without Cu atoms, Cu containing structures termed as "Cu sub-unit cluster", and Q' sub-unit cells. Among these structures, the morphologies of three-fold symmetric structure without Cu atoms, Cu sub-unit cluster, and Q' sub-unit cell were almost the same, so that these structures should be the clusters of Q' phase. Since the areal density, length and diameter of precipitates were almost equal between Cu free Al-Mg-Si alloy and Cu added Al-Mg-Si alloy, the increase of hardness by Cu addition should be due to the precipitation of Cu related precipitates, such as Cu sub-unit clusters and Q' sub-unit cells.
Project description:Stimulating the microbially-mediated precipitation of uranium biominerals may be used to treat groundwater contamination at nuclear sites. The majority of studies to date have focussed on the reductive precipitation of uranium as U(IV) by U(VI)- and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria such as Geobacter and Shewanella species, although other mechanisms of uranium removal from solution can occur, including the precipitation of uranyl phosphates via bacterial phosphatase activity. Here we present the results of uranium biomineralisation experiments using an isolate of Serratia obtained from a sediment sample representative of the Sellafield nuclear site, UK. When supplied with glycerol phosphate, this Serratia strain was able to precipitate 1 mM of soluble U(VI) as uranyl phosphate minerals from the autunite group, under anaerobic and fermentative conditions. Under phosphate-limited anaerobic conditions and with glycerol as the electron donor, non-growing Serratia cells could precipitate 0.5 mM of uranium supplied as soluble U(VI), via reduction to nano-crystalline U(IV) uraninite. Some evidence for the reduction of solid phase uranyl(VI) phosphate was also observed. This study highlights the potential for Serratia and related species to play a role in the bioremediation of uranium contamination, via a range of different metabolic pathways, dependent on culturing or in situ conditions.