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Reversible surface-sorption-induced electron-transfer oxidation of Fe(II) at reactive sites on a synthetic clay mineral

Abstract : The sorption of 57Fe(II) onto an Fe-free, mineralogically pure and Ca-saturated synthetic montmorillonite sample (structural formula: Ca0.15(Al1.4Mg0.6)(Si4)O10(OH,F)2), was studied as a function of pH under strictly anoxic conditions (N2 glove box atmosphere, O2 content <1 ppm), using wet chemistry and cryogenic (T = 77 K) 57Fe Mo¨ssbauer spectrometry. No Fe(III) was detected in solution at any pH. However, in pH conditions where Fe(II) is removed from solution, a significant amount of surface-bound Fe(III) was produced, which increased with pH from 0% to 3% of total Fe in a pre-sorption edge region (i.e. at pH < 7.5 where about 15% of total Fe is sorbed) to 7% of total Fe when all Fe is sorbed. At low pH, where the pre-sorption edge plateau occurs (2 < pH < 7.5), the total sorbed-Fe amount remained constant but, within this sorbed-Fe pool, the Fe(III)/Fe(II) ratio increased with pH, from 0.14 at pH 2 up to 0.74 at pH 7. The pre-sorption edge plateau is interpreted as cation exchange on interlayer surfaces together with a sorption phenomenon occurring on highly reactive (i.e. high affinity) surface sites. As pH increases and protons are removed from the clay edge surface, we propose that more and more of these highly reactive sites acquire a steric configuration that stabilizes Fe(III) relative to Fe(II), thereby inducing a Fe to clay particle electron transfer. A sorption model based on cation exchange combined with surface complexation and electron transfers reproduces both wet chemical as well as the Mössbauer spectrometric results. The mechanism is fully reversible: sorbed-Fe is reduced as pH decreases (Mo¨ssbauer solid-state analyses) and all Fe returned to solution is returned as Fe(II) (solution analyses). This would not be the case if the observed oxidations were due to contaminant oxidizing agents in solution. The present work shows that alternating pH may induce surface redox phenomena in the absence of an electron acceptor in solution other than H2O.
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Contributeur : Christophe Tournassat <>
Soumis le : mardi 31 mai 2011 - 13:08:58
Dernière modification le : vendredi 25 septembre 2020 - 03:13:49



A. Gehin, Jean-Marc Greneche, Christophe Tournassat, Jocelyne Brendle, Denis G. Rancourt, et al.. Reversible surface-sorption-induced electron-transfer oxidation of Fe(II) at reactive sites on a synthetic clay mineral. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2007, 71 (4), pp.863-876. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2006.10.019⟩. ⟨hal-00597192⟩



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