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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of coupled dissolution and redox reactions on Cr(VI)aq attenuation during transport in the sediments under hyperalkaline conditions.

Aluminum-rich, hyperalkaline (pH > 13.5) and saline high-level nuclear waste (HLW) fluids at elevated temperatures (>50 degrees C), that possibly contained as much as 0.41 mol L(-1) Cr(VI), accidentally leaked to the sediments at the Hanford Site, WA. These extreme conditions promote base-induced dissolution of soil minerals which may affect Cr(VI)aq mobility. Our objective was to investigate Cr(VI)aq transport in sediments leached with HLW simulants at 50 degrees C, under CO2 and O2 free conditions. Results demonstrated that Cr(VI)aq fate was closely related to dissolution, and Cr(VI)aq mass loss was negligible in the first pore volumes but increased significantly thereafter. Similar to dissolution, Cr(VI)aq attenuation increased with increasing fluid residence time and NaOH concentration but decreased with Al concentrations in the leaching solutions. Aqueous Cr(VI) removal rate half-lives varied from 1.2 to 230 h with the fastest at the highest base concentration, lowest Al concentration, greatest reaction time, and lowest Cr(VI) concentration in the leaching solution. The rate of Cr(VI) removal (normalized to 1 kg of solution) varied from 0.83 x 10(-9) (+/-0.44 x 10(-9)) to 9.16 x 10(-9) (+/-1.10 x 10(-9)) mol s(-1). The predominant mechanism responsible for removing Cr(VI) from the aqueous phase appears to be homogeneous Cr(VI) reduction to Cr(III) by Fe(II) released during mineral dissolution. Cr(VI)aq removal was time-limited probably because it was controlled by the rate of Fe(II) release into the soil solution upon mineral dissolution, which was also a time-limited process, and other processes that may act to lower Fe(II)aq activity.[1]


  1. Effect of coupled dissolution and redox reactions on Cr(VI)aq attenuation during transport in the sediments under hyperalkaline conditions. Qafoku, N.P., Ainsworth, C.C., Szecsody, J.E., Qafoku, O.S., Heald, S.M. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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