Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Committee Chair

Louis M McDonald

Committee Co-Chair

Eugenia M Pena-Yewtukhiw

Committee Member

Jeffrey G Skousen

Committee Member

Dorothy J Vesper


Aqueous diel cycles have been observed for a variety of elements and have recently been observed for selenium (Se). Elevated concentrations of Se have been linked to adverse biological impacts on a variety of species from fish to humans. The objective of this work was to determine the role of temperature on selenite (Se(IV)) sorption, a possible mechanism for Se diel cycles. Four solids were selected as sorbents: gray and brown overburden material from the southern West Virginia coal fields and active and passive mine drainage treatment solids. Sorption isotherms were conducted at 20 °C for all solids and at 30 °C for overburden materials. Supernatants were analyzed for Se(IV) concentration by hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectroscopy. Results indicate decreased temperature was correlated with increased Se(IV) sorption for brown sandstone while the reverse was true for gray sandstone. KD decreased for brown sandstone from 6.05 x 10-8 L mug -1 at 20 °C to 2.30 x 10-8 L mug-1 at 30 °C. KD for gray sandstone increased from 1.61 x 10-8 L mug-1 at 20 °C to 7.01 x 10-8 L mug -1 at 30 °C. Of all materials, the passive treatment solid exhibited the greatest distribution coefficient with a KD of 1.0 x 10-6 L mug-1 at 20 °C. Temperature may serve as a control on Se diel cycles, and mining solids can serve as sorbents for Se(IV).