Neptunium Reactivity During Co-Precipitation and Oxidation of Fe(II)/Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides

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Abstract

Fe(II) bearing iron (oxyhydr)oxides were directly co-precipitated with Np(V)O2+ under anaerobic conditions to form Np doped magnetite and green rust. These environmentally relevant mineral phases were then characterised using geochemical and spectroscopic analyses. The Np doped mineral phases were then oxidised in air over 224 days with solution chemistry and end-point oxidation solid samples collected for further characterisation. Analysis using chemical extractions and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) techniques confirmed that Np(V) was initially reduced to Np(IV) during co-precipitation of both magnetite and green rust. Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) modelling suggested the Np(IV) formed a bidentate binuclear sorption complex to both minerals. Furthermore, following oxidation in air over several months, the sorbed Np(IV) was partially oxidised to Np(V), but very little remobilisation to solution occurred during oxidation. Here, linear combination fitting of the X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) for the end-point oxidation samples for both mineral phases suggested approximately 50% oxidation to Np(V) had occurred over 7 months of oxidation in air. Both the reduction of Np(V) to Np(IV) and inner sphere sorption in association with iron (oxyhydr)oxides, and the strong retention of Np(IV) and Np(V) species with these phases under robust oxidation conditions, have important implications in understanding the mobility of neptunium in a range of engineered and natural environments.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019