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Release of chromite nanoparticles and their alteration in the presence of Mn-oxides

Neal W. McClenaghan and Michael Schindler
Release of chromite nanoparticles and their alteration in the presence of Mn-oxides
American Mineralogist (April 2022) 107 (4): 642-653


The discovery of chromite nanoparticles in silicates of ultramafic rocks may change our approach on the environmental risk assessment of mine waste associated with chromitite mining. This experimental study shows for the first time that the alteration of Cr-rich silicates results in the release of chromite nanoparticles and that their interaction with oxidizing Mn-oxide nanoparticles causes the dissolution of chromite and Mn-oxide nanoparticles and the precipitation of Fe (super 3+) - and Cr (super 3+) -hydroxides. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with ultra-microtomy, centrifugation, chromatography, ICP-MS, and UV-VIS is used to characterize release and alteration of chromite nanoparticles and the concentrations and speciation of Cr aqueous species. Alteration of clinochlore grains containing chromite nanoparticles results in the release of the nanoparticles and their attachment to Si-bearing Alhydroxide colloids. Chromite nanoparticles with the end-member composition FeCr (sub 2) O (sub 4) are synthesized, and their interaction with Mn-oxide nanoparticles (hausmannite, Mn (sub 3) O (sub 4) ), Fe (super 2+) -silicates (chamosite, [(Fe (sub 3.9) Mg (sub 0.62) Al (sub 0.48) )Al(Si (sub 3) Al)O (sub 10) (OH) (sub 8) ] and organic matter is studied over a period of six to nine months in suspensions of pH=5. The interaction of chromite and hausmannite nanoparticles is facilitated by the aggregation of the nanoparticles and dissolution-precipitation processes. Processes on the surfaces of the hausmannite nanoparticles include the reductive dissolution of the substrate (reduction of Mn (super 3+) to Mn (super 2+) by Fe (super 2+) species) and its replacement by amorphous or nanocrystalline Cr (super 3+) -bearing Fe (super 3+) -hydroxides. Processes on the surfaces of the chromite nanoparticles involve the attachment of hausmannite nanoparticles, the oxidative dissolution of the substrate (oxidation of Fe (super 2+) and perhaps Cr (super 3+) by Mn (super 3+) species), its replacement by an amorphous or nanocrystalline Mn-bearing Cr (super 3+) -hydroxide matrix and the formation of the Cr (super 3+) -hydroxides bracewellite and grimaldite within the latter matrix. Analyses of the suspensions indicate only minor amounts of Cr (super 6+) in the suspensions (<5 mu g kg (super -1) ) suggesting that formation or occurrence of Cr (super 6+) species can be limited in complex geochemical and mineralogical systems even in the presence of hausmannite nanoparticles.

ISSN: 0003-004X
EISSN: 1945-3027
Serial Title: American Mineralogist
Serial Volume: 107
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Release of chromite nanoparticles and their alteration in the presence of Mn-oxides
Affiliation: Laurentian University, Harquail School of Earth Sciences, Sudbury, ON, Canada
Pages: 642-653
Published: 20220401
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, United States
References: 50
Accession Number: 2022-021823
Categories: Mineralogy of non-silicates
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables
Secondary Affiliation: University of Manitoba, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 2022
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