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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Jan 1;37(1):90-8.

Chemical speciation of Zn, Cd, Cu, and Pb in pore waters of agricultural and contaminated soils using Donnan dialysis.

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CSIRO Land and Water, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.


Knowledge of trace metal speciation in soil pore waters is important in addressing metal bioavailability and risk assessment of contaminated soils. Numerous analytical methods have been utilized for determining trace metal speciation in aqueous environmental matrixes; however, most of these methods suffer from significant interferences. The Donnan dialysis membrane technique minimizes these interferences and has been used in this study to determine free Zn2+, Cd2+, Cu2+, and Pb2+ activities in pore waters from 15 agricultural and 12 long-term contaminated soils. The soils vary widely in their origin, pH, organic carbon content, and total metal concentrations. Pore water pM2+ activities also covered a wide range and were controlled by soil pH and total metal concentrations. For the agricultural soils, most of the free metal activities were below detection limit, apart from Zn2+ for which the fraction of free Zn2+ in soluble Zn ranged from 2.3 to 87% (mean 43%). Five of the agricultural soils had detectable free Cd2+ with fractions of free metal ranging from 59 to 102% (mean 75%). For the contaminated soils with detectable free metal concentrations, the fraction of free metal as a percentage of soluble metal varied from 9.9 to 97% (mean 50%) for Zn2+, from 22 to 86% (mean 49%) for Cd2+, from 0.4 to 32.1% (mean 5%) for Cu2+, and from 2.9 to 48.8% (mean 20.1%) for Pb2+. For the contaminated soils, the equilibrium speciation programs GEOCHEM and WHAM Model VI provided reasonable estimates of free Zn2+ fractions in comparison to the measured fractions (R2 approximately 0.7), while estimates of free Cd2+ fractions were less agreeable (R2 approximately 0.5). The models generally predicted stronger binding of Cu2+ to DOC and hence lower fractions of free Cu2+ as compared with the observed fractions. The binding of Cu2+ and Pb2+ to DOC predicted by WHAM Model VI was much strongerthan that predicted by GEOCHEM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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