Uranium theoretical speciation for drinking water from private drilled wells in Sweden: Implications for choice of removal method
2014 (English)In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 51, 148-154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Elevated concentrations of uranium (U) from natural sources have been measured in drinking water from private drilled wells in Sweden and many other countries world-wide. Although U is a radioactive element, radioactivity is not the main concern, but rather chemical toxicity, e. g. kidney damage. Uranium chemistry is complex and U in water has a very high tendency to form complexes with other compounds. Since speciation is crucial for the properties of U, and therefore the removal efficiency, this study determined theoretical U species in drinking water from private drilled wells using the geochemical model Visual MINTEQ. The drinking water samples used in modelling were from two datasets: (1) 76 water samples selected from a previous survey of 722 wells; and (2) samples of drinking water from 21 private wells sampled in May 2013. The results showed that neutrally charged U complexes dominated in the pH range 6.7-7.8, which is common in private drilled wells. This has important implications for removal method, since charge is an important factor for U removal efficiency. In the alkaline pH range, one of two calcium-UO2 carbonate complexes dominated and calcium (Ca) concentration proved to be a key factor determining the Ca-UO2 carbonate complex formed: the neutral Ca2UO2(CO3)(3)(0)(aq) or the negative CaUO2(CO3)(3)(2). Complexes with organic carbon (C) varied greatly in the acidic range, indicating that it is crucial to measure organic C content in the water since it is critical for the dissolved organic matter (DOM)-UO2 complex formation. Therefore before U removal method is selected, some crucial parameters for complex formation should be measured. Based on our results, such measurements should include pH, Ca, alkalinity and organic C concentration, as these determine the type of complexes formed and their charge.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 51, 148-154 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158384DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2014.10.005ISI: 000345405400015ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84908571542OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-158384DiVA: diva2:779829
QC 201501132015-01-132015-01-072015-01-13Bibliographically approved