The oxidation of dissolved organic compounds by redbed sandstones

Al Azzo, Omar Nabhan (2016). The oxidation of dissolved organic compounds by redbed sandstones. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of this research was to provide a basis for quantifying the ability of red sandstone to oxidise dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and determine if results of experiments on synthetic minerals can be applied to geological materials. Ascorbic acid (H\(_2\)A) was used as a probe. Preliminary experiments revealed that it can reductively dissolve sandstone hematite and Mn oxide as research on synthetic minerals had previously shown. Sorption of H\(_2\)A to sandstone was similar to that seen for synthetic hematite (a two-slope linear isotherm). Anoxic batch experiments were undertaken under biotic and abiotic conditions. Release of Fe and Mn was found to be dependent on the concentration of H\(_2\)A and pH. Decrease in H\(_2\)A concentration exceeded increase in Fe and Mn concentrations corrected for sorption, and this was modelled by sorption of both ascorbate and dehydroascorbic acid. The rate of H\(_2\)A oxidation was higher in biotic experiments than in abiotic experiments, probably due to the differences in pH rather than bacterial presence. The rate of ascorbic acid oxidation by natural oxides was higher than found by previous researchers for synthetic hematite. This result was not expected, and only in part can be ascribed to the effect of Mn oxides. However, the mechanism of reductive dissolution determined by the synthetic mineral studies appear relevant also to the sandstone system. Many questions remain but the study shows that the sandstone provides a significant natural oxidative attenuation capacity and that the results of experimentation on synthetic minerals can only be applied qualitatively.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Q Science > QE Geology


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