Interactions between magnetite and humic substances: redox reactions and dissolution processes

Abstract : Humic substances (HS) are redox-active compounds that are ubiquitous in the environment and can serve as electron shuttles during microbial Fe(III) reduction thus reducing a variety of Fe(III) minerals. However, not much is known about redox reactions between HS and the mixed-valent mineral magnetite (Fe3O4) that can potentially lead to changes in Fe(II)/Fe(III) stoichiometry and even dissolve the magnetite. To address this knowledge gap, we incubated non-reduced (native) and reduced HS with four types of magnetite that varied in particle size and solid-phase Fe(II)/Fe(III) stoichiometry. We followed dissolved and solid-phase Fe(II) and Fe(III) concentrations over time to quantify redox reactions between HS and magnetite. Magnetite redox reactions and dissolution processes with HS varied depending on the initial magnetite and HS properties. The interaction between biogenic magnetite and reduced HS resulted in dissolution of the solid magnetite mineral, as well as an overall reduction of the magnetite. In contrast, a slight oxidation and no dissolution was observed when native and reduced HS interacted with 500 nm magnetite. This variability in the solubility and electron accepting and donating capacity of the different types of magnetite is likely an effect of differences in their reduction potential that is correlated to the magnetite Fe(II)/Fe(III) stoichiometry, particle size, and crystallinity. Our study suggests that redox-active HS play an important role for Fe redox speciation within minerals such as magnetite and thereby influence the reactivity of these Fe minerals and their role in biogeochemical Fe cycling. Furthermore, such processes are also likely to have an effect on the fate of other elements bound to the surface of Fe minerals.
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Geochemical Transactions, Chemistry Central, 2017, 18, pp.6. 〈10.1186/s12932-017-0044-1〉
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Anneli Sundman, James M. Byrne, Iris Bauer, Nicolas Menguy, Andreas Kappler. Interactions between magnetite and humic substances: redox reactions and dissolution processes. Geochemical Transactions, Chemistry Central, 2017, 18, pp.6. 〈10.1186/s12932-017-0044-1〉. 〈hal-01633821〉

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