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  • Author or Editor: Gert Bernhard x
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Abstract  

Humic acids (HA) can influence the speciation of metal ions, e.g., actinide ions, and thus their migration in the environment. Therefore, knowledge of the impact of HA on the actinide migration is required to assess their transport in natural systems. However, due to the complex and heterogeneous nature of HA, there are a lot of difficulties in the thermodynamic description of their geochemical interaction behavior. A more basic understanding of the interaction processes of HA can be obtained by investigations applying HA model substances with more specific and tailored properties. This work gives a review of selected types of HA model substances (HA-alike melanoidins, synthetic HA with pronounced redox functionality, modified HA with blocked phenolic/acidic OH groups, synthetic humic substance-clay-associates), their synthesis, isotopic labeling, and characterization in comparison to isolated natural HA. Examples for their application in various geochemical studies, such as complexation, redox, sorption and migration studies with uranium as representative for actinides are presented.

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Abstract  

Cryogenic techniques are currently used in scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and single molecule spectroscopy. Recently such cryogenic devices have also been adapted to time resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS) systems applied to uranium(VI). In our study, we interpret TRLFS results obtained for the uranyl(VI) glucose system at room temperature (RT) and under cryogenic conditions of 153 K (cryo-TRLFS). A uranyl(VI) glucose complex was only identified by cryo-TRLFS measurements at pH 5 and not by RT measurements. The uranyl(VI) glucose complex was characterized by five emission bands at 499.0, 512.1, 525.2, 541.7, and 559.3 nm and a fluorescence lifetime of 20.9 ± 2.9 μs. The uranyl(VI) glucose complex formation constant was calculated for the first time to be logßI=0.1 M = 15.25 ± 0.96. Cryo-TRLFS investigation opens up new possibilities for the determination of complex formation constants since interfering quenching effects often encounter at RT are suppressed by measurements at cryogenic conditions.

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Abstract  

For the first time, the complexation of americium(III) with salicylic acid was studied at trace metal concentrations using a 2.0 m Long Path Flow Cell for UV–vis spectroscopy. The detection limit of Am(III) in aqueous solution at pH 3.0 was found to be 5 × 10−9 M. Two Am(III)-salicylate complexes were formed at pH 5.0 in 0.1 M NaClO4, indicated by a clear red shift of the absorption maximum. The absorption spectra obtained from spectrophotometric titration were analyzed by means of factor analysis and complex stabilities were calculated to be log β110 = 2.56 ± 0.08 and log β120 = 3.93 ± 0.19.

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