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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Aug 1;41(15):5376-82.

Interactions of aqueous selenium (-II) and (IV) with metallic sulfide surfaces.

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  • 1Universit√© de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Groupe de Recherche en Chimie Inorganique, BP 1039, F-51687 Reims, France.


The present study was initiated to determine the capacity of sulfide minerals (pyrite FeS2 and chalcopyrite CuFeS2) to delay the migration of inorganic selenium species in geological formations. Interactions between Se(IV) and Se(-II) and synthetic and natural sulfide minerals were investigated under anoxic conditions using the batch method. Significant sorption of selenium occurred under acidic conditions. Analysis of the solids after Se sorption using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) demonstrated the presence of reduced selenium species on the metallic sulfide surfaces, thus suggesting an oxido-reduction process coupled with sorption. Selenium reduction occurred concomitantly with the oxidation of pyritic sulfur, whereas metallic species (Fe, Cu) were not involved in the redox process. Formation of ferroselite (FeSe2) was postulated to take place on the synthetic solid while surface complexation or ionic exchange processes were more likely on the natural solids.

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