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Cola soft drinks for evaluating the bioaccessibility of uranium in contaminated mine soils


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Lottermoser, BG, Schnug, E and Haneklaus, S 2011 , 'Cola soft drinks for evaluating the bioaccessibility of uranium in contaminated mine soils' , Science of the Total Environment, vol. 409 , pp. 3512-3519 , doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.043.

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There is a rising need for scientifically sound and quantitative as well as simple, rapid, cheap and readily
available soil testing procedures. The purpose of this study was to explore selected soft drinks (Coca-Cola
Classic®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero®) as indicators of bioaccessible uranium and other trace elements (As, Ce, Cu,
La, Mn, Ni, Pb, Th, Y, Zn) in contaminated soils of the Mary Kathleen uranium mine site, Australia. Data of
single extraction tests using Coca-Cola Classic®, Diet Coke® and Coke Zero® demonstrate that extractable
arsenic, copper, lanthanum, manganese, nickel, yttrium and zinc concentrations correlate significantly with
DTPA- and CaCl2-extractable metals. Moreover, the correlation between DTPA-extractable uranium and that
extracted using Coca-Cola Classic® is close to unity (+0.98), with reduced correlations for Diet Coke®
(+0.66) and Coke Zero® (+0.55). Also, Coca-Cola Classic® extracts uranium concentrations near identical to
DTPA, whereas distinctly higher uranium fractions were extracted using Diet Coke® and Coke Zero®. Results
of this study demonstrate that the use of Coca-Cola Classic® in single extraction tests provided an excellent
indication of bioaccessible uranium in the analysed soils and of uranium uptake into leaves and stems of the
Sodom apple (Calotropis procera). Moreover, the unconventional reagent is superior in terms of availability,
costs, preparation and disposal compared to traditional chemicals. Contaminated site assessments and
rehabilitation of uranium mine sites require a solid understanding of the chemical speciation of
environmentally significant elements for estimating their translocation in soils and plant uptake. Therefore,
Cola soft drinks have potential applications in single extraction tests of uranium contaminated soils and may
be used for environmental impact assessments of uranium mine sites, nuclear fuel processing plants and
waste storage and disposal facilities.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lottermoser, BG and Schnug, E and Haneklaus, S
Journal or Publication Title: Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.043
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