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Chemosphere. 2001 Nov;45(6-7):949-55.

Photodegradation of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (EDDS) within natural UV radiation range.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Kuopio, Finland.


The rate of photodegradation of two chelating agents, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and an isomeric mixture of ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (EDDS), was analysed in humic lake water and in distilled water using exposure to sunlight, and in the laboratory using lamps emitting UV radiation in the range 315-400 nm. Degradation was studied using Fe(III) complexes and sodium salts of chelates. Fe(III) complexes were illuminated at pH 3.1 and 6.5. The results demonstrated that the rate of photodegradation of Fe(III)-EDTA and Fe(III)-EDDS complexes seems to be pH dependent. In the laboratory experiments degradation occurred much faster when the original pH was 3.1 rather than 6.5. The photodegradation of the isomeric mixture of EDDS was markedly faster than the degradation of EDTA both in the laboratory and field experiments, and both in humic and distilled water. The results indicated that in natural waters photodegradation of EDDS is independent of initial speciation of EDDS, while degradation of EDTA is dependent on its existence as Fe(III)-EDTA species.

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