Mechanisms of Se(IV) Co-precipitation with Ferrihydrite at Acidic and Alkaline Conditions and Its Behavior during Aging

Paul Clarence M. Francisco*, Tsutomu Sato, Tsubasa Otake, Takeshi Kasama, Shinichi Suzuki, Hideaki Shiwaku, Tsuyoshi Yaita

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Understanding the form of Se(IV) co-precipitated with ferrihydrite and its subsequent behavior during phase transformation is critical to predicting its long-term fate in a range of natural and engineered settings. In this work, Se(IV)-ferrihydrite co-precipitates formed at different pH were characterized with chemical extraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to determine how Se(IV) is associated with ferrihydrite. Results show that despite efficient removal, the mode and stability of Se(IV) retention in the co-precipitates varied with pH. At pH 5, Se(IV) was removed dominantly as a ferric selenite-like phase intimately associated with ferrihydrite, while at pH 10, it was mostly present as a surface species on ferrihydrite. Similarly, the behavior of Se(IV) and the extent of its retention during phase transformation varied with pH. At pH 5, Se(IV) remained completely associated with the solid phase despite the phase change, whereas it was partially released back into solution at pH 10. Regardless of this difference in behavior, TEM and XAS results show that Se(IV) was retained within the crystalline post-aging products and possibly occluded in nanopore and defect structures. These results demonstrate a potential long-term immobilization pathway for Se(IV) even after phase transformation. This work presents one of the first direct insights on Se(IV) co-precipitation and its behavior in response to iron phase transformations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)4817-4826
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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