U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72 (2009) 1521–1539


Experiments were performed herein to investigate the rates and products of heterogeneous reduction of Tc(VII) by Fe(II) adsorbed to hematite and goethite, and by Fe(II) associated with a dithionite–citrate–bicarbonate (DCB) reduced natural phyllosilicate mixture [structural, ion-exchangeable, and edge-complexed Fe(II)] containing vermiculite, illite, and muscovite. The heterogeneous reduction of Tc(VII) by Fe(II) adsorbed to the Fe(III) oxides increased with increasing pH and was coincident with a second event of Fe2+(aq) adsorption. The reaction was almost instantaneous above pH 7. In contrast, the reduction rates of Tc(VII) by DCB-reduced phyllosilicates were not sensitive to pH or to added Fe2+(aq) that adsorbed to the clay. The reduction kinetics were orders of magnitude slower than observed for the Fe(III) oxides, and appeared to be controlled by structural Fe(II). The following affinity series for heterogeneous Tc(VII) reduction by Fe(II) was suggested by the experimental results: aqueous Fe(II) ~ adsorbed Fe(II) in phyllosilicates [ion-exchangeable and some edge-complexed Fe(II)] « structural Fe(II) in phyllosilicates « Fe(II) adsorbed on Fe(III) oxides. Tc-EXAFS spectroscopy revealed that the reduction products were virtually identical on hematite and goethite that were comprised primarily of sorbed octahedral TcO2 monomers and dimers with significant Fe(III) in the second coordination shell. The nature of heterogeneous Fe(III) resulting from the redox reaction was ambiguous as probed by Tc-EXAFS spectroscopy, although Mossbauer spectroscopy applied to an experiment with 56Fe-goethite with adsorbed 57Fe(II) implied that redox product Fe(III) was goethite-like. The Tc(IV) reduction product formed on the DCB-reduced phyllosilicates was different from the Fe(III) oxides, and was more similar to Tc(IV) oxyhydroxide in its second coordination shell. The heterogeneous reduction of Tc(VII) to less soluble forms by Fe(III) oxideadsorbed Fe(II) and structural Fe(II) in phyllosilicates may be an important geochemical process that will proceed at very different rates and that will yield different surface species depending on subsurface pH and mineralogy.