The Effect of Acidification and Chelating Agents on the Solubilization of Uranium from Contaminated Soil
- Stephen D. Ebbs,
- Wendell A. Norvell and
- Leon V. Kochian *
The role of acidification and chelating agents in the solubilization of uranium (U) from contaminated soil was examined in a series of experiments. Soil acidification and the addition of chelating agents were the two methods compared initially. The results indicated that the addition of citric acid solubilized more U than acidification or the other amendments tested. This increase in U solubility was, however, transitory. A subsequent experiment indicated that citrate concentration had a more dramatic effect on U solubility than did acidification. The greatest soluble U concentration during this experiment (775 mg kg−1 soil, or ∼85% of the total U) was observed after 24 h in the presence of 20 millimoles citrate kg−1 soil at pH 5. The persistence of U solubility over the 96-h experimental period was primarily a function of pH and citrate degradation. In a separate experiment, in which citric acid rather than citrate was added to contaminated soil, the soluble U concentrations observed were generally lower than those observed in the presence of citrate. Citric acid decreased soil pH to values ≤3.6, and solubilized higher concentrations of Al and Fe than observed in the presence of citrate. Since the maximum solubilization of U was observed at pH 5, the implication of these results is that a combined approach, using both soil acidification and citric acid addition, may be necessary to maximize the phytoextraction of U from soils with a pH > 6.0.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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