Google Play icon

Uranium (IV) found to be mobile in a natural wetland

Share
Posted December 18, 2013
Uranium (IV) found to be mobile in a natural wetland
This is the study site in Limousin, France. Credit: EPFL — 2011
Because they are known to mop up pollutants, artificial wetlands are considered to be an efficient strategy to contain waterborne uranium. But studying a natural wetland near a former uranium-mining site in the French region of Limousin, researchers have found that under certain circumstances, uranium can be partly remobilized into the surrounding water. In a recent publication in Nature Communications, they show how it becomes mobile again by binding to tiny metallic and organic compounds with a little help from ambient bacteria. Their study, carried out in collaboration with the HZDR in Germany, and Areva in France, has been highlighted in a press release by the journal.

 

In nature, uranium is found in two forms: U-4 and U-6, where the numbers indicate how many chemical bonds the atom can form. “Until recently, scientists thought that U-4 was immobilized as a mineral, while U-6 was considered to be the only highly soluble form,” says the study’s principle investigator Rizlan Bernier-Latmani. Today, scientists know that this distinction is not quite as clear-cut, having discovered a non-soluble, yet highly mobile form of U-4.

In wetlands, bacterial or chemical processes transform the soluble form of uranium, U-6, into U-4. “This was considered beneficial from an environmental point of view, as it was assumed to sequester the contaminant, keeping it out of the water,” explains Bernier-Latmani.

Read more at: Phys.org

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
87,495 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. An 18 carat gold nugget made of plastic (January 13, 2020)
  2. Anti Solar Cells: A Photovoltaic Cell That Works at Night (February 3, 2020)
  3. Toyota Raize is a new cool compact SUV that we will not see in this part of the world (November 24, 2019)
  4. Nuclear waste could be recycled for diamond battery power (January 21, 2020)
  5. Physicist Proposes a Testable Theory Stating that Information has Mass and could Account for Universe s Dark Matter (January 24, 2020)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email