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Environmental fate & pathways

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Tellurium exists mainly as Te(IV) and Te(VI) in natural waters and geological samples and its geochemistry is considered comparable to that of selenium.In the oxidative zone of weathering at or near the earth's surface, tellurium is readily oxidized to tellurites (Te03 2-) from tellurides (Te2-) through the normal pH range of 3-8.At relatively high, but feasible, oxidation potentials, tellurites are oxidized to tellurates (Te04 2-) in alkaline environments (pH 6-8.5).

Based on the results of a transformation dissolution screening and determination of the dissolved element concentrations, it is concluded that dissolved tellurium is predominantly available as Te(IV).

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