Using vibrational spectroscopy and simulations we resolved the enigmatic surface chemistry of ferrihydrite. Three ways to learn more about our work:
- The paper: Boily JF & Song X. 2020 Direct identification of reaction sites on ferrihydrite. Nat. Comm. Chem. DOI 10.1038/s42004-020-0325-y.
- Nature’s blog site, with the story behind this paper.
- Goldschmidt conference: PDF of virtual presentation. Also a Q&A session on June 23rd.
Michael Holmboe which initially joined the Chemistry Dept. at Umeå University in 2015 as an assistant professor, has now been appointed to associate professor (universitetslektor) in inorganic chemistry!
Thanks to recent grants from SSM and VR, his groups research is set to start two new projects regarding radiation-induced redox effects in clay minerals and organic/minerals interactions using molecular simulations!
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, or SSM in short, are funding a 1-year project in the Holmboe group!
In the context of nuclear waste disposal in Sweden and many other countries, this project will investigate the effects of redox and physicochemical changes induced by gamma (γ) irradiation on compacted Bentonite clay and its main component montmorillonite. This is relevant since in nuclear waste repository concepts such as the Swedish KBS-3, the compacted and water saturated Bentonite clay buffer will unavoidably be exposed to significant doses (40-200kGy) of ionizing 137-Cs radiation, which may induce redox-changes in the structural Fe(II)/Fe(III) sites in the clay mineral lattice.
In a collaboration between the JF Boily group and the Allan Bertram group of UBC, we show that K+ is the key ion driving ice nucleation on K-feldspar, an important part of atmospheric mineral dust. Read the paper here:
Yun J, Link N, Kumar A, Shchukarev, Davidson J, Lam AE, Walters C, Xi Y, Boily JF, Bertram AK. 2020.
Merve (Ph.D. 2018, Umeå U.), a VR- and NASA-supported postdoc at SETI, won this
award for her designing a project to explore frozen environments on Mars:
Two new papers in collaboration with Stina Jansson and J-F Boily of UmU now out in Environmental Science and Pollution Research:
Niinipuu M, Latham KG, Boily J-F, Bergknut M, Jansson S. 2020 The impact of hydrothermal carbonization on the surface functionalities of wet waste materials for water treatment applications. Env. Sci. Poll. Res. doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08591-w
Niinipuu M, Bergknut M, Boily J-F, Rosenbaum E, Jansson S. 2020 Influence of water matrix and hydrochar properties on removal of organic and inorganic contaminants. Env. Sci. Poll. Res. doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09164-7
A recent article in NyTeknik (link) highlights recent findings in a US study funded by the DOE titled ‘Self-accelerated corrosion of nuclear waste forms at material interfaces’. In the NyTeknik article associate prof. Michael Holmboe is interviewed and comments on the relevance of the results for the planned nuclear waste disposal in Sweden.
Energetics of paramagnetic oxide clusters: the Fe(III) oxyhydroxy Keggin ion
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, DOI: 10.1039/C9CP05795A. Link
C. A. Ohlin
Abstract: The energetics of the different spin states of the five Baker-Figgis isomers of the iron(III) Keggin ion, [Fe(O4)(Fe(OH)2 (OH2))12]7+, has been investigated using density functional theory in order to demonstrate how the energy landscape of medium-to-large discrete paramagnetic transition metal oxide clusters with large numbers of antiferromagnetically coupled centres can be resolved. Antiferromagnetic coupling causes the energies to span a surprisingly large range of 30 kcal/mol, as determined by calculating the energies of all 664 unique spin configurations based on determination of the antiferromagnetic coupling constants by density functional theory. A program which simplifies the resolution of the energetics of this type of systems is also provided.
“Carbon Dioxide Binding in Supercooled Water Nanofilms on Nanominerals”
by Merve Yeşilbaş (now at SETI), Xiaowei Song (now at IKEA), and Jean-François Boily
You can find the article here
Emma Westling, Lisa Bryggman and Niklas Viklund from Nolaskolan in Örnsköldsvik brought in soil samples for Cesium-137 analysis. Many thanks to Peder Arvidsson from the University Hospital of Umeå (Center for medical technique and radiation physics) for providing access to his laboratory and hosting the students.