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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Oct 15;37(20):4650-5.

Impact of transition metals on reductive dechlorination rate of hexachloroethane by mackinawite.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, USA.


Mackinawite, an iron monosulfide, has been shown to be a potential reductant for chlorinated organic compounds under anaerobic conditions. Chlorinated organic compounds are often found with inorganic contaminants. This study investigates the impact of various transition metals on the reductive dechlorination by mackinawite using a readily degradable chlorinated organic compound, hexachloroethane (HCA). Different classes of transition metals show distinct patterns in their impact on the HCA dechlorination: 10(-3) M Cr(III) and Mn(II) (hard metals) decreased the dechlorination rates, while 10(-4), 10(-3), and 10(-2) M Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II), and Hg(II) (intermediate/soft metals) increased the rates. The tested hard metals, due to their weak affinity for sulfides, are thought to form surface precipitates of hydroxides around FeS under the experimental conditions with these hydroxides hindering the electron transfer between FeS and HCA. Due to their high affinity for sulfides, however, the tested intermediate/soft metals can react with FeS in various ways: precipitation of pure metal sulfides (MS), formation of metal-substituted FeS by lattice exchange, and coprecipitation of the mixed sulfides in a Fe-M-S system. Fe(II), released as a result of the interaction of FeS with intermediate/soft metals, enhances the HCA dechlorination at the doses of 10(-4) and 10(-3) M through sorbed or dissolved Fe(II) species, while Fe(OH)2(s) formed at the higher dose of 10(-2) M also enhances the reductive dechlorination. Rate increases observed in Co(II)-, Ni(II)-, and Hg(II)-amended systems are not simply explained by the formation of pure MS; instead, metal-substituted FeS or coprecipitated sulfides are thought to be responsible for the significantly increased rates observed in these systems.

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