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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. This study investigated the reaction kinetics on the oxidative transformation of lead( ii ) minerals by free chlorine (HOCl) and free bromine (HOBr) in drinking water distribution systems. According to chemical equilibrium predictions, lead( ii ) carbonate minerals, cerussite PbCO 3(s) and hydrocerussite Pb 3 (CO 3 ) 2 (OH) 2(s) , and lead( ii ) phosphate mineral, chloropyromorphite Pb 5 (PO 4 ) 3 Cl (s) are formed in drinking water distribution systems in the absence and presence of phosphate, respectively. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) data showed that at pH 7 and a 10 mM alkalinity, the majority of cerussite and hydrocerussite was oxidized to lead( iv ) mineral PbO 2(s) within 120 minutes of reaction with chlorine (3 : 1 Cl 2  : Pb( ii ) molar ratio). In contrast, very little oxidation of chloropyromorphite occurred. Under similar conditions, oxidation of lead( ii ) carbonate and phosphate minerals by HOBr exhibited a reaction kinetics that was orders of magnitude faster than by HOCl. Their end oxidation products were identified as mainly plattnerite β-PbO 2(s) and trace amounts of scrutinyite α-PbO 2(s) based on X-ray diffraction (XRD) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopic analysis. A kinetic model wasmore »established based on the solid-phase experimental data. The model predicted that in real drinking water distribution systems, it takes 0.6–1.2 years to completely oxidize Pb( ii ) minerals in the surface layer of corrosion scales to PbO 2(s) by HOCl without phosphate, but only 0.1–0.2 years in the presence of bromide (Br − ) due the catalytic effects of HOBr generation. The model also predicts that the addition of phosphate will significantly inhibit Pb( ii ) mineral oxidation by HOCl, but only be modestly effective in the presence of Br − . This study provides insightful understanding on the effect of residual disinfectant on the oxidation of lead corrosion scales and strategies to prevent lead release from drinking water distribution systems.« less
  3. The crystal chemistry of carnotite (prototype formula: K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O) occurring in mine wastes collected from Northeastern Arizona was investigated by integrating spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction analyses. Raman spectroscopy confirms that the uranyl vanadate phase present in the mine waste is carnotite, rather than the rarer polymorph vandermeerscheite. X-ray diffraction patterns of the carnotite occurring in these mine wastes are in agreement with those reported in the literature for a synthetic analog. Carbon detected in this carnotite was identified as organic carbon inclusions using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) analyses. After excluding C and correcting for K-drift from the electron microprobe analyses, the composition of the carnotite was determined as 8.64% K2O, 0.26% CaO, 61.43% UO3, 20.26% V2O5, 0.38% Fe2O3, and 8.23% H2O. The empirical formula, (K1.66Ca0.043Al(OH)2+0.145 Fe(OH)2+0.044)((U0.97)O2)2((V1.005)O4)2·4H2O of the studied carnotite, with an atomic ratio 1.9:2:2 for K:U:V, is similar to the that of carnotite (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2·3H2O) reported in the literature. Lattice spacing data determined using selected area electron diffraction (SAED)-TEM suggests: (1) complete amorphization of the carnotite within 120 s of exposure to the electron beam and (2) good agreement of the measured d-spacings for carnotite in the literature. Small differences between the measuredmore »and literature d-spacing values are likely due to the varying degree of hydration between natural and synthetic materials. Such information about the crystal chemistry of carnotite in mine wastes is important for an improved understanding of the occurrence and reactivity of U, V, and other elements in the environment.« less
  4. The mobility and accumulation of uranium (U) along the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico was investigated using aqueous chemistry, electron microprobe, X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy analyses. Given that it is not common to identify elevated concentrations of U in surface water sources, the Rio Paguate is a unique site that concerns the Laguna Pueblo community. This study aims to better understand the solid chemistry of abandoned mine waste sediments from the Jackpile Mine and identify key hydrogeological and geochemical processes that affect the fate of U along the Rio Paguate. Solid analyses using X-ray fluorescence determined that sediments located in the Jackpile Mine contain ranges of 320 to 9200 mg kg −1 U. The presence of coffinite, a U( iv )-bearing mineral, was identified by X-ray diffraction analyses in abandoned mine waste solids exposed to several decades of weathering and oxidation. The dissolution of these U-bearing minerals from abandoned mine wastes could contribute to U mobility during rain events. The U concentration in surface waters sampled closest to mine wastes are highest during the southwestern monsoon season. Samples collected from September 2014 to August 2016 showed higher U concentrations in surface water adjacentmore »to the Jackpile Mine (35.3 to 772 μg L −1 ) compared with those at a wetland 4.5 kilometers downstream of the mine (5.77 to 110 μg L −1 ). Sediments co-located in the stream bed and bank along the reach between the mine and wetland had low U concentrations (range 1–5 mg kg −1 ) compared to concentrations in wetland sediments with higher organic matter (14–15%) and U concentrations (2–21 mg kg −1 ). Approximately 10% of the total U in wetland sediments was amenable to complexation with 1 mM sodium bicarbonate in batch experiments; a decrease of U concentration in solution was observed over time in these experiments likely due to re-association with sediments in the reactor. The findings from this study provide new insights about how hydrologic events may affect the reactivity of U present in mine waste solids exposed to surface oxidizing conditions, and the influence of organic-rich sediments on U accumulation in the Rio Paguate.« less