Biogenic non-crystalline U (IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits

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Bhattacharyya, A.; Campbell, K.M.; Kelly, S.D.; Roebbert, Y.; Weyer, S. et al.: Biogenic non-crystalline U (IV) revealed as major component in uranium ore deposits. In: Nature Communications 8 (2017), 15538. DOI:

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Historically, it is believed that crystalline uraninite, produced via the abiotic reduction of hexavalent uranium (U (VI)) is the dominant reduced U species formed in low-temperature uranium roll-front ore deposits. Here we show that non-crystalline U (IV) generated through biologically mediated U (VI) reduction is the predominant U (IV) species in an undisturbed U roll-front ore deposit in Wyoming, USA. Characterization of U species revealed that the majority (-1/458-89%) of U is bound as U (IV) to C-containing organic functional groups or inorganic carbonate, while uraninite and U (VI) represent only minor components. The uranium deposit exhibited mostly 238 U-enriched isotope signatures, consistent with largely biotic reduction of U (VI) to U (IV). This finding implies that biogenic processes are more important to uranium ore genesis than previously understood. The predominance of a relatively labile form of U (IV) also provides an opportunity for a more economical and environmentally benign mining process, as well as the design of more effective post-mining restoration strategies and human health-risk assessment.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2017
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 96 82.76%
2 image of flag of China China 6 5.17%
3 image of flag of United States United States 4 3.45%
4 image of flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 2 1.72%
5 image of flag of France France 2 1.72%
6 image of flag of Vietnam Vietnam 1 0.86%
7 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 1 0.86%
8 image of flag of India India 1 0.86%
9 image of flag of Algeria Algeria 1 0.86%
10 image of flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 1 0.86%
    other countries 1 0.86%

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