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Dissolved Mn(III) species have recently been recognized as a significant form of Mn in redox transition zones, but their speciation, stability and reactivity are poorly understood. Besides acting as the intermediate for Mn redox chemistry, Mn(III) can undergo disproportionation producing insoluble Mn oxides and aqueous Mn(II). Using pyrophosphate(PP) as a model ligand, we evaluated the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of Mn(III) complexes. They were stable at circumneutral pH and were prone to (partial) disproportionation at acidic or basic pH. With an initial lag phase, the kinetics of Mn(III)-PP disproportionation was auto-catalytic with the produced Mn oxides promoting the disproportionation. X-ray diffraction and the average Mn oxidation state indicated that the solid products were not pure Mn(IV) oxides but a mixture of triclinic birnessite and δ-MnO2. Addition of synthetic analogs of the precipitates eliminated the lag phase, confirming their catalytic roles. Thermodynamic calculations adequately predicted the stability regime of Mn(III)-PP. The present results refined the constant for Mn(PP)25- formation, which allows a consistent and quantitative prediction of equilibrium speciation of Mn(III)-Mn(II)-birnessite with PP. A simple and robust model, which incorporated the thermodynamic constraints, autocatalytic rate law, and verified reaction stoichiometry, successfully simulated all kinetic data.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science & technology
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