Ferric Iron Complexation by Organic Ligands in Mine Wastes

Herbert, Roger B. Jr.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Surface water samples were collected from water accumulations at the surface of a neutral pH mine tailings deposit in Kristineberg (Sweden) where algal growth and iron hydroxide precipitates were observed. Ferric iron in the aqueous samples was determined by (adsorptive) differential pulse - cathodic stripping voltammetry. The analyses indicated that labile Fe3+ concentrations were in the range <20 to 337 nM, while total Fe3+ levels were much higher at 0.9 to 8.3 uM. The labile Fe3+ levels are more than two orders of magnitude greater than would be expected based on equilibrium with ferrihydrite. These results suggest that iron complexation with strong ligands in the surface water competes with iron hydrolysis, and that these ligands may be of algal and/or bacterial origin.
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