Minerals2014, 4(4), 815-834; doi:10.3390/min4040815 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Consistently classified among the references for calcite simple prisms, the microstructural units that form the outer layer of the Pinctada margaritifera have been investigated through a series of morphological, crystallographical and biochemical characterizations. It is often said that the polygonal transverse shape of the prisms result from the competition for space between adjacent crystals. In contrast to this classical scheme the Pinctada prisms appear to be composed of four successive developmental stages from the concentrically growing disks on the internal side of the periostracum to the morphological, structural and compositional changes in both envelopes and mineral components at the end of the prisms. These latest structural and compositional changes predate nacre deposition, so that the end of prism growth is not caused by occurrence of nacre, but by metabolic changes in the secretory epithelium. This sequence makes obvious the permanent biological control exerted by the outer cell layer of the mantle in both organic envelopes and mineralizing organic phases.
Minerals2014, 4(4), 788-814; doi:10.3390/min4040788 - published 1 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Molybdenite in the Aitik deposit and its southern extension was studied through mineralogical/chemical analysis and laboratory flotation tests. It is demonstrated that molybdenite varies considerably in grain size, ranging from coarse (>20 μm) to very fine (<2 μm) and occurs predominantly as single grains in the groundmass of the rocks, as grain aggregates, and intergrown with chalcopyrite and pyrite. The dominating molybdenite-bearing rocks are the mica schists, the quartz-monzodiorite, and the Salmijärvi biotite-amphibole gneiss, the latter containing mostly medium-coarsegrained molybdenite. Later geological features, such as garnet-magnetite-anhydrite-K feldspar alteration and pegmatite dikes appear to be responsible for a significant part of the distribution pattern of molybdenite. Molybdenite grains contain up to 1587 ppm Re, with an average of 211 ± 10 ppm in Aitik molybdenite and 452 ± 33 ppm in Salmijärvi molybdenite. The higher Re concentrations are found in molybdenite associated with sericite- and quartz-amphibole-magnetite altered rocks, whereas low Re values occur in rocks in which potassic alteration is prominent. Molybdenite recovery is influenced by the mineralogy of the host rock and the alteration grade; hence both of these factors will have an impact on potential recoveries. The recovery of molybdenite was lower from flotation feeds with significant amounts of Mg-bearing clay-micas.
Minerals2014, 4(4), 758-787; doi:10.3390/min4040758 - published 31 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Bulk magnetic properties of soils and sediments are often sensitive proxies for environmental change but commonly require interpretation in terms of the different sources of magnetic minerals (or components) that combine to generate them. Discrimination of different components in the bulk magnetic record is often attempted through endmember unmixing and/or high resolution measurements that can require intensive measurement plans, assume linear additivity, and sometimes have difficulty in discriminating a large number of sources. As an alternative, magnetic measurements can be made on isolated sediment fractions that constitute the bulk sample. When these types of measurements are taken, heterogeneity is frequently observed between the magnetic properties of different fractions, suggesting different magnetic components often associate with different physical grain sizes. Using a particle size-specific methodology, individual components can be isolated and studied and bulk magnetic properties can be linked to, and isolated from, sedimentological variations. Deconvolving sedimentary and magnetic variability in this way has strong potential for increased understanding of how magnetic fragments are carried in natural systems, how they vary with different source(s), and allows for a better assessment of the effect environmental variability has in driving bulk magnetic properties. However, despite these benefits, very few studies exploit the information they can provide. Here, I present an overview of the different sources of magnetic minerals, why they might associate with different sediment fractions, how bulk magnetic measurements have been used to understand the contribution of different components to the bulk magnetic record, and outline how particle size-specific magnetic measurements can assist in their better understanding. Advantages and disadvantages of this methodology, their role alongside bulk magnetic measurements, and potential future directions of research are also discussed.
Minerals2014, 4(3), 746-757; doi:10.3390/min4030746 - published 8 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A two-fold objective is proposed for this research: removing hazardous and unpleasant wastes and mitigating the emissions of green house gasses in the atmosphere. Thus, the first aim of this work is to identify, characterize and recycle industrial wastes with high contents of calcium or sodium. This involves synthesizing materials with the ability for CO2 sequestration as preliminary work for designing industrial processes, which involve a reduction of CO2 emissions. In this regard, phosphogypsum from the fertilizer industry and liquid wastes from the green olive and bauxite industries have been considered as precursors. Following a very simple procedure, Ca-bearing phosphogypsum wastes are mixed with Na-bearing liquid wastes in order to obtain a harmless liquid phase and an active solid phase, which may act as a carbon sequestration agent. In this way, wastes, which are unable to fix CO2 by themselves, can be successfully turned into effective CO2 sinks. The CO2 sequestration efficiency and the CO2 fixation power of the procedure based on these wastes are assessed.
Minerals2014, 4(3), 716-745; doi:10.3390/min4030716 - published 23 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Among the diverse research fields and wide range of studies encompassed by environmental magnetism, the present work elaborates on critical aspects of the geochemistry of trace metals that emerged through years of original research in a variety of environmental compartments. This review aims at sharing the insights gained on (a) tracing metal pollution sources; and (b) identifying processes and transport pathways from sources to depositional environments. Case studies on the Elefsis Gulf (Greece) and the Gulf of Lions (France) demonstrate the potential of combined magnetic measurements and chemical analysis to trace pollution signals resulting from land-based sources and atmospheric deposition. Case studies on estuarine environments, namely the Louros, Acheloos, and Asopos Estuaries (Greece), address modes of trace metal behavior under the influence of different hydrological regimes and elucidate in situ processes within the transitional estuarine zone, that define their ultimate fate. As sources, transport pathways, and processes of trace metals are fundamental in environmental management assessments, the involvement of magnetic measurements in the policy cycle could facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate regulatory measures for the integrated management of river basins, coastal, and marine areas.
Minerals2014, 4(3), 690-715; doi:10.3390/min4030690 - published 14 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Incorporation reactions play an important role in dictating immobilization and release pathways for chemical species in low-temperature geologic environments. Quantum-mechanical investigations of incorporation seek to characterize the stability and geometry of incorporated structures, as well as the thermodynamics and kinetics of the reactions themselves. For a thermodynamic treatment of incorporation reactions, a source of the incorporated ion and a sink for the released ion is necessary. These sources/sinks in a real geochemical system can be solids, but more commonly, they are charged aqueous species. In this contribution, we review the current methods for ab initio calculations of incorporation reactions, many of which do not consider incorporation from aqueous species. We detail a recently-developed approach for the calculation of incorporation reactions and expand on the part that is modeling the interaction of periodic solids with aqueous source and sink phases and present new research using this approach. To model these interactions, a systematic series of calculations must be done to transform periodic solid source and sink phases to aqueous-phase clusters. Examples of this process are provided for three case studies: (1) neptunyl incorporation into studtite and boltwoodite: for the layered boltwoodite, the incorporation energies are smaller (more favorable) for reactions using environmentally relevant source and sink phases (i.e., ΔErxn(oxides) > ΔErxn(silicates) > ΔErxn(aqueous)). Estimates of the solid-solution behavior of Np5+/P5+- and U6+/Si4+-boltwoodite and Np5+/Ca2+- and U6+/K+-boltwoodite solid solutions are used to predict the limit of Np-incorporation into boltwoodite (172 and 768 ppm at 300 °C, respectively); (2) uranyl and neptunyl incorporation into carbonates and sulfates: for both carbonates and sulfates, it was found that actinyl incorporation into a defect site is more favorable than incorporation into defect-free periodic structures. In addition, actinyl incorporation into carbonates with aragonite structure is more favorable than into carbonates with calcite structure; and (3) uranium incorporation into magnetite: within the configurations tested that preserve charge neutrality (U6+ → 2Fe3+oct/tet or U4+ → Fe2+oct), uranium incorporation into magnetite is most favorable when U6+ replaces octahedral Fe3+ with charge balancing accomplished by an octahedral Fe3+ iron vacancy. At the end of this article, the limitations of this method and important sources of error inherent in these calculations (e.g., hydration energies) are discussed. Overall, this method and examples may serve as a guide for future studies of incorporation in a variety of contexts.