Phase transition of Fe oxides under reducing condition and its relation with the As behavior
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Fe oxides are very common in the earth’s crust and easily transform into other minerals such as magnetite and siderite under reducing conditions by microbial reactions. It is well known that As concentrations in groundwater is strongly regulated by adsorption onto Fe oxides. Even though some studies have suggested that the formation of siderite can also control the As concentration, direct evidences are not sufficient. In this study, we performed microbial incubation experiments to see the phase transition of As-rich Fe oxides under anoxic condition and to see how the water As concentrations are controlled accordingly. Three experiments were performed by changing organic carbon concentrations. Natural groundwaters and yeast extracts were used for the sources of microorganisms and organic carbon. Seven reactors were prepared for each experiment and opened one by one to observe the changes of the water chemistry and solid phases for 60 days. The formation of magnetite was observed at the early stage of each experiment. Siderite was formed at the later stage only when the dissolved organic carbon concentrations were high (donor/accepter molar ratio = 1.5). Goethite and hematite, instead of siderite, were formed from the experiment using low organic carbon concentration (donor/accepter molar ratio = 0.75). It is likely that dissolved ferrous ion adsorbs onto the Fe oxides and recrystallizes into hematite and goethite when the DOC concentration was low. As concentrations were generally very low in the water (normally 10 ug/L) and we could not find any relations with the Fe minerals formed by anoxic microbial reactions, maybe due to high Fe oxide/water ratio of our experiments. The sequential extraction analysis indicated that most of the As in solids are mostly associated with Fe-oxides and organic matters. The As bound to carbonates were very low even in the precipitates containing siderite due to low As concentrations in the water where the siderite formed. Further experiments precipitating siderite in the water with high As concentrations are required.