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  1. Abstract In this study, we investigated an unusual natural Mn oxide hollandite-group mineral from the Kohare Mine, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, that has predominantly water molecules in the tunnels, with K, Na, Ca, and Ba. The specimens are labeled as type manjiroite, but our analyses show that Na is not the dominant tunnel species, nor is it even the primary tunnel cation, suggesting either an error in the original analyses or significant compositional variation within samples from the type locality. Chemical analyses, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis measurements combined with Rietveld refinement results using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data suggest the chemical formula: (K0.19Na0.17Ca0.03Ba0.01H2O1.60)(Mn5.024+Mn2.823+Al0.14Fe0.02)O13.47(OH)2.53. Our analyses indicate that water is the primary tunnel species, and although water has been reported as a component in natural hollandites, this is the first detailed study of the crystal structure and dehydration behavior of a natural hydrous hollandite with water as the predominant tunnel species. This work underscores the rarity of natural Na-rich hollandite phases and focuses new attention on the role of hydrous components of hollandite-like phases in determining their capacities to exchange or accommodate various cations, such as Li+, Na+, Ba2+, Pb2+, and K+ in natural systems.
  2. Abstract Birnessite-like minerals are among the most common Mn oxides in surficial soils and sediments, and they mediate important environmental processes (e.g., biogeochemical cycles, heavy metal confinement) and have novel technological applications (e.g., water oxidation catalysis). Ca is the dominant interlayer cation in both biotic and abiotic birnessites, especially when they form in association with carbonates. The current study investigated the structures of a series of synthetic Ca-birnessite analogs prepared by cation-exchange with synthetic Na-birnessite at pH values from 2 to 7.5. The resulting Ca-exchanged birnessite phases were characterized using powder X-ray diffraction and Rietveld refinement, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. All samples synthesized at pH values greater than 3 exhibited a similar triclinic structure with nearly identical unit-cell parameters. The samples exchanged at pH 2 and 3 yielded hexagonal structures, or mixtures of hexagonal and triclinic phases. Rietveld structure refinement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that exchange of Na by Ca triggered reduction of some Mn3+, generating interlayer Mn2+ and vacancies in the octahedral layers. The triclinic and hexagonal Ca-birnessite structures described in this study were distinct from Na- and H-birnessite, respectively. Therefore, modeling X-ray absorption spectra of naturalmore »Ca-rich birnessites through mixing of Na- and H-birnessite end-members will not yield an accurate representation of the true structure.« less