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Chemosphere. 2008 Sep;73(4):587-92. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.05.067. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Determination of Henry's law constant for elemental mercury.

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Department of Chemistry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.


The assessment of the global mercury cycle involves estimations of the evasion of mercury form oceanic waters. In such estimations Henry's law constant is often used. In this study the Henry's law constant for elemental mercury has been re-determined in MQ water and artificial sea water. Moreover, for the first time it has been determined for 1.5M sodium chloride (NaCl) solution which is of relevance for modeling of atmospheric waters at coastal locations. For all solutions, experiments has been conducted at five different temperatures between 278 and 308K, using a novel technique, for mercury, based on direct measurements of the portioning of mercury between the aqueous and gaseous phase. Elemental mercury was extracted from the water column and the logarithm of the mass of extracted mercury was plotted against time. A dimensionless Henry's law constant, defined as: [see text] was obtained from the slope of the curve. Almost no difference was observed in the values comparing the Milli-Q water and artificial sea water, however for the 1.5M NaCl solution a salting-out effect was seen, i.e. the solubility of mercury in the water phase decreased. The decreased solubility will generate an increase in the value of Henry's law constant.

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