No No No No
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Both Abiotic Abiotic Both
Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Source: U.S. EPA, Assessing the Geochemical Fate of Deep-Well-Injected Hazardous Waste: A Reference Guide, EPA/625/ 6-89/025a, U.S. EPA, Cincinnati, OH, June 1990.
Table 20.5 also indicates whether a process is biotic (mediated or initiated by organisms in the environment), abiotic (not involving biological mediation), or both. Biotic processes are limited to environmental conditions that favor growth of mediating organisms. Abiotic processes occur under a wide range of conditions. Adsorption, precipitation, complexation, and neutralization are abiotic; all other processes in Table 20.5 may be either.
Partition processes determine how a substance is distributed among the liquid, solid, and gas phases and determine the chemical form or species of a substance. Partitioning usually does not affect the toxic properties of the substance. Partitioning can, however, affect the mobility of the waste, its compatibility with the injection zone, or other factors that influence fate in the deep-well environment. The major partition processes are as follows:
1. Acid-base reactions
4. Immiscible-phase separation
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