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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Oct 2;46(19):10820-6. doi: 10.1021/es301611e. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

In situ time-resolved X-ray near-edge absorption spectroscopy of selenite reduction by siderite.

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CEA, DEN, DPC/SEARS/LISL, CEN de Saclay 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France.


The reduction-oxidation reaction between aqueous selenite (SeO(3)(2-)) and siderite (FeCO(3(s))) was monitored by in situ, time-resolved X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy at the selenium K edge in a controlled electrochemical environment. Spectral evolutions showed that more than 60% of selenite was reduced at the siderite surface after 20 h of experiment, at which time the reaction was still incomplete. Fitting of XANES spectra by linear combination of reference spectra showed that selenite reaction with siderite is essentially a two-step process, selenite ions being immobilized on siderite surface prior to their reduction. A kinetic model of the reduction step is proposed, allowing to identify the specific contribution of surface reduction. These results have strong implications for the retention of selenite by corrosion products in nuclear waste repositories and in a larger extent for the fate of selenium in the environment.

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