Some Aspects of Arsenic and Antimony Geochemistry in High Temperature Granitic Melt – Aqueous Fluid System and in Low Temperature Permeable Reactive Barrier – Groundwater System
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Arsenic and antimony are important trace elements in magmatic-hydrothermal systems, geothermal systems and epithermal deposits, but their partitioning behavior between melt and aqueous fluid is not well understood. The partitioning of arsenic and antimony between aqueous fluid and granitic melt has been studied in the system SiO2-Al2O3-Na2O-K2O-H2O at 800 degree C and 200 MPa. The partition coefficients of As and Sb between aqueous fluid and melt, are 1.4 +- 0.5 and 0.8 +- 0.5, respectively. The partitioning of As is not affected by aluminum saturation index (ASI) or SiO2 content of the melt, or by oxygen fugacity under oxidized conditions (log fO2 > the nickel-nickel oxide buffer, NNO). The partitioning of Sb is independent of and SiO2 content of the melt. However, aluminum saturation index (ASI) does affect Sb partitioning and Sb partition coefficient for peralkaline melt (0.1 +- 0.01) is much smaller than that for metaluminous melts (0.8 +- 0.4) and that for peraluminous melts (1.3 +- 0.7). Thermodynamic calculations show that As(III) is dominant in aqueous fluid at 800 degree C and 200 MPa and XPS analysis of run product glass indicate that only As(III) exists in melt, which confirms the finding that does not affect As partitioning between fluid and melt. XPS analysis of run product glass show that Sb(V) is dominant in melt at oxidized conditions (log fO2 > -10). The peralkaline effect only exhibits on Sb partitioning, not on As partitioning at oxidized conditions, which is consistent with the x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements that As(III) and Sb(V) are dominant oxidation states in melt under oxidized conditions, because the peralkaline effect is stronger for pentavalent than trivalent cations. Permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) are an alternative technology to treat mine drainage containing sulfate and heavy metals. Two column experiments were conducted to assess the suitability of an organic carbon (OC) based reactive mixture and an Fe0-bearing organic carbon (FeOC) based reactive mixture, under controlled groundwater flow conditions. The organic carbon (OC) column showed an initial sulfate reduction rate of 0.4 μmol g(oc)-1 d-1 and exhausted its capacity to promote sulfate reduction after 30 pore volumes (PVs), or 9 months of flow. The Fe0-bearing organic carbon (FeOC) column sustained a relative constant sulfate reduction rate of 0.9 μmol g(oc)-1 d-1 for at least 65 PVs (17 months). The microbial enumerations and isotopic measurements indicate that the sulfate reduction was mediated by sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). The cathodic production of H2 by anaerobic corrosion of Fe probably is the cause of the difference in sulfate reduction rates between the two reactive mixtures. Zero-valent iron can be used to provide an electron donor in sulfate reducing PRBs and Fe0-bearing organic carbon reactive mixture has a potential to improve the performance of organic carbon PRBs. The δ34S values can be used to determine the extent of sulfate reduction, but the fractionation is not consistent between reactive materials. The δ13C values indicate that methanogenesis is occurring in the front part of both columns. Arsenic and antimony in groundwater are great threats to human health. The PRB technology potentially is an efficient and cost-effective approach to remediate organic and inorganic contamination in groundwater. Two column experiments were conducted to assess the rates and capacities of organic carbon (OC) PRB and Fe-bearing organic carbon (FeOC) PRB to remove As and Sb under controlled groundwater flow conditions. The average As removal rate for the OC column was 13 nmole day-1 g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon) and its removal capacity was 11 μmole g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon). The remove rate of the FeOC material was 165 nmole day-1 g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon) and its minimum removal capacity was 105 mole g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon). Antimony removal rate of the OC material decreases from 8.2 to 1.4 nmole day-1 g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon) and its removal capacity is 2.4 μmole g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon). The minimum removal rate of FeOC material is 13 nmole day-1 g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon) and its minimum removal capacity is 8.4 μmole g-1 (dry weight of organic carbon). The As(III) : [As(III)+As(V)] ratio increased from 1% in the influent to 50% at 5.5 cm from the influent end, and to 80% at 15.5 cm from the influent end of the OC column. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) shows As(III)-sulfide species on solid samples. These results suggest that As(V) is reduced to As(III) both in pore water and precipitate as As sulfides or coprecipitate with iron sulfides. The arsenic reduction rate suggests that As(V) reduction is mediated by bacterial activity in the OC column and that both abiotic reduction and bacterial reduction could be important in FeOC.