Oxidative UO2 dissolution induced by soluble Mn(III)

Zimeng Wang, Wei Xiong, Bradley M. Tebo, Daniel E. Giammar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The stability of UO2 is critical to the success of reductive bioremediation of uranium. When reducing conditions are no longer maintained, Mn redox cycling may catalytically mediate the oxidation of UO2 and remobilization of uranium. Ligand-stabilized soluble Mn(III) was recently recognized as an important redox-active intermediate in Mn biogeochemical cycling. This study evaluated the kinetics of oxidative UO2 dissolution by soluble Mn(III) stabilized by pyrophosphate (PP) and desferrioxamine B (DFOB). The Mn(III)-PP complex was a potent oxidant that induced rapid UO2 dissolution at a rate higher than that by a comparable concentration of dissolved O2. However, the Mn(III)-DFOB complex was not able to induce oxidative dissolution of UO2. The ability of Mn(III) complexes to oxidize UO2 was probably determined by whether the coordination of Mn(III) with ligands allowed the attachment of the complexes to the UO2 surface to facilitate electron transfer. Systematic investigation into the kinetics of UO2 oxidative dissolution by the Mn(III)-PP complex suggested that Mn(III) could directly oxidize UO2 without involving particulate Mn species (e.g., MnO 2). The expected 2:1 reaction stoichiometry between Mn(III) and UO2 was observed. The reactivity of soluble Mn(III) in oxidizing UO2 was higher at lower ratios of pyrophosphate to Mn(III) and lower pH, which is probably related to differences in the ligand-to-metal ratio and/or protonation states of the Mn(III)-pyrophosphate complexes. Disproportionation of Mn(III)-PP occurred at pH 9.0, and the oxidation of UO2 was then driven by both MnO2 and soluble Mn(III). Kinetic models were derived that provided excellent fits of the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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