U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 (2006) 3662–3676; doi:10.1016/j.gca.2006.05.004


A <2.0-mm fraction of a mineralogically complex subsurface sediment containing goethite and Fe(II)/Fe(III) phyllosilicates was incubated with Shewanella putrefaciens (strain CN32) and lactate at circumneutral pH under anoxic conditions to investigate electron acceptor preference and the nature of the resulting biogenic Fe(II) fraction. Anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS), an electron shuttle, was included in select treatments to enhance bioreduction and subsequent biomineralization. The sediment was highly aggregated and contained two distinct clast populations: (i) a highly weathered one with ‘‘sponge-like’’ internal porosity, large mineral crystallites, and Fecontaining micas, and (ii) a dense, compact one with fine-textured Fe-containing illite and nano-sized goethite, as revealed by various forms of electron microscopic analyses. Approximately 10–15% of the Fe(III)TOT was bioreduced by CN32 over 60 d in media without AQDS, whereas 24% and 35% of the Fe(III)TOT was bioreduced by CN32 after 40 and 95 d in media with AQDS. Little or no Fe2+, Mn, Si, Al, and Mg were evident in aqueous filtrates after reductive incubation. Mossbauer measurements on the bioreduced sediments indicated that both goethite and phyllosilicate Fe(III) were partly reduced without bacterial preference. Goethite was more extensively reduced in the presence of AQDS whereas phyllosilicate Fe(III) reduction was not influenced by AQDS. Biogenic Fe(II) resulting from phyllosilicate Fe(III) reduction remained in a layer-silicate environment that displayed enhanced solubility in weak acid. The mineralogic nature of the goethite biotransformation product was not determined. Chemical and cryogenic Mossbauer measurements, however, indicated that the transformation product was not siderite, green rust, magnetite, Fe(OH)2, or Fe(II) adsorbed on phyllosilicate or bacterial surfaces. Several lines of evidence suggested that biogenic Fe(II) existed as surface associated phase on the residual goethite, and/or as a Fe(II)–Al coprecipitate. Sediment aggregation and mineral physical and/or chemical factors were demonstrated to play a major role on the nature and location of the biotransformation reaction and its products.