The transport and potential remediation approaches for metal mixtures in uranium(U) mine wastes from sites located in tribal land in the Southwestern US was investigated by integrating laboratory experiments, microscopy, and spectroscopy. Metal release from these mine wastes could pose potential health risks for neighboring communities. Spectroscopy analyses suggest that U-vanadium(V) and U-organic-rich phases are present in abandoned mine wastes; the dissolution of these phases is relevant to U, arsenic(As), and V transport. Remediation approaches for mixtures of U and As using naturally occurring calcium(Ca)-bearing minerals is currently being researched for the immobilization of these metal mixtures. Additionally, Ca in carbonate water at circumneutral pH facilitates the transport of U in plant roots which could be useful for metal uptake. These results are relevant for U transport and remediation in the proximity of mine wastes and mineralized deposits.
José M. Cerrato is Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. He was also a Postdoctoral Researcher in Washington University in St Louis. He serves as Associate Director of the UNM Center for Water and the Environment, and is affiliated to the UNM METALS Superfund Research Center. His research interest is related to biogeochemical processes occurring at molecular and macro scales at the interface of water and energy. He has been a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Senior Research Award to Spain.
This lecture is part of the Lundin-Snider Seminar Series. A recording will be available shortly after the presentation.