Improved methods for selective dissolution of Mn oxides: Applications for studying trace element associations

Alexander Neaman, Flore Mouélé, Fabienne Trolard, Guilhem Bourrié

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The association of rare earth and other trace elements with Fe and Mn oxides was studied in Fe-Mn-nodules from a lateritic soil from Serra do Navio (Northern Brazil). Two improved methods of selective dissolution by hydroxylamine hydrochloride and acidified hydrogen peroxide along with a classical Na-citrate-bicarbonate-dithionite method were used. The two former reagents were used to dissolve Mn oxides without significant dissolution of Fe oxides, and the latter reagent was used to dissolve both Mn and Fe oxides. Soil nodules and matrix were separated by hand. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after fusion with lithium metaborate, and X-ray diffraction were used to determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of the nodules and soil matrix. The latter was composed of kaolinite, gibbsite, goethite, hematite, and quartz. In the nodules, lithiophorite LiAl2(MnIV2Mn III)O6(OH)6 was detected in addition to the above-mentioned minerals. The presence of hollandite (BaMn8O 16) and/or coronadite (PbMn8O16) in the nodules is also possible. In comparison to the matrix, the nodules were enriched in Mn, Fe, K, and P, and relatively poor in Si, Al, and Ti. The nodules were also enriched in all trace elements determined. Phosphorus, As and Cr were associated mainly with Fe oxides; Cu, Ni, and V were associated with both Fe and Mn oxides; and Ba, Co, and Pb were associated mainly with Mn oxides. Distribution of rare earth elements indicated a strong positive Ce-anomaly in the nodules, compared to the absence of any anomaly in the matrix. Some of Ce was associated with Mn oxides. The improved methods achieved almost complete release of Mn from the sample without decreasing the selectivity of dissolution, i.e., without dissolving significant amounts of Fe oxides and other minerals, and provided reliable information on associations of trace elements with Mn oxides. These methods are thus proposed to be included in sequential extraction schemes for fractionation of trace elements in soils and sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-979
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


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