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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Geochemical Parameters Influencing Tungsten Mobility in Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 229-233
    Received: June 12, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): Anthony.J.Bednar@erdc.usace.army.mil
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  1. A. J. Bednar *a,
  2. W. T. Jonesb,
  3. R. E. Boydb,
  4. D. B. Ringelbergc and
  5. S. L. Larsona
  1. a U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Lab., 3909 Halls Ferry Rd., Vicksburg, MS 39180
    b SpecPro, Inc., Huntsville, AL
    c U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab


The biogeochemistry of tungsten and its effects on mobility have recently gained attention due to the existence of human cancer clusters, such as in Fallon, NV. Tungsten exists in many environmental matrices as the soluble and mobile tungstate anion. However, tungsten can polymerize with itself and other anions, creating poly- and heteropoly-tungstates with variable geochemical and toxicological properties. In the present work, geochemical parameters are determined for tungstate species in a model soil that describe the potential for tungsten mobility. Soluble tungsten leached from a metallic tungsten-spiked soil after six to twelve months aging reached an equilibrium concentration >150 mg/L within 4 h of extraction with deionized water. Partition coefficients determined for various tungstate and polytungstate compounds in the model soil suggest a dynamic system in which speciation changes over time affect tungsten geochemical behavior. Partition coefficients for tungstate and some poly-species have been observed to increase by a factor of 3 to 6 over a four month period, indicating decreased mobility with soil aging.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America