Coupling of iron and sulphur cycle - the linking process
FOR 580 PEIFrom 04/2006 to 03/2009
Principal Investigator: Stefan Peiffer
Staff: Katrin Hellige
Grant: FOR 580 Electron Transfer Processes in Anoxic Aquifers
Strong evidence exists that the oxidation of H2S by ferric (oxyhydr)oxides occurs also in ground water systems and may exert a major role for the sulphur and iron cycle and in particular for the electron and carbon flow in aquifers. To date, no systematic study has been performed that allows to quantitatively assess its significance in such systems. This project aims to fill this gap of knowledge. The extent of the reaction depends on mineral reactivity, which we hypothesize can be expressed in terms of a generalized kinetic model for the full pH range of environmental relvance. This model accounts for the adsorption of H2S at lower pH values and of HS- at circumneutral pH to the neutral ferric (oxyhydr)oxide surface to form the reactive species >FeSH. Variations in reactivity may be caused by intrinsic factors such as surface acidity of the iron mineral and solution composition, such as ionic strength and competition with other ions. The overall goals of this project therefore are to demonstrate the validity of this approach in order to quantify the kinetics for abiotic anaerobic H2S oxidation by ferric (oxyhydr)oxides, and to elucidate the role of this process as a precursor reaction for further microbial transformation of sulphur species in the aquifer.