Te(IV) immobilization by siderite: Reaction kinetics, mechanism, and Te isotopic fractionation

Anirban Basu, Kathrin Schilling, Alex N. Halliday, Naomi Wasserman, Thomas M. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mining and industrial use over recent decades have released tellurium (Te) into the environment where it potentially contaminates soils, water supplies and food sources. Therefore, it is important to find ways of removing mobile and bioavailable Te from aqueous environments. We report aqueous Te(IV) removal by siderite at varying Te concentrations (2, 6 and 10 mg mL−1 Te(IV)) and pH values (7, 7.9 and 9), together with associated isotope fractionation (ε130Te/125Te). Our results show effective immobilization of Te(IV) that follows pseudo-first order rate kinetics. Formation of magnetite indicates reduction of Te(IV) on siderite surfaces and the formation of Te(0). The overall isotope fractionation (ε) is small (−0.23 ± 0.06‰) providing evidence that it is primarily controlled by adsorption of Te(IV) occurring simultaneously with reduction of Te(IV). Therefore, Te(IV) removal by siderite under mildly reducing ferruginous conditions may be identifiable by the characteristically small isotopic fractionation during both natural attenuation and active remediation. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting reaction mechanisms of Te(IV) immobilization by an environmentally relevant Fe(II) mineral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121123
JournalChemical Geology
StatePublished - Dec 5 2022


  • First-order reaction
  • Redox
  • Siderite
  • Te stable isotopes
  • Tellurium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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