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Fulvic acid-sulfide ion competition for mercury ion binding in the Florida Everglades

M.M. Reddy and G.R. Aiken
Published in: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 2001, v. 132, p. 89-104

Note: Entire paper is available from the Water, Air, and Soil Pollution website (journal membership required)


Negatively charged functional groups of fulvic acid compete with inorganic sulfide ion for mercury ion binding. This competition is evaluated here by using a discrete site-electrostatic model to calculate mercury solution speciation in the presence of fulvic acid. Model calculated species distributions are used to estimate a mercury-fulvic acid apparent binding constant to quantify fulvic acid and sulfide ion competition for dissolved inorganic mercury (Hg(II)) ion binding. Speciation calculations done with PHREEQC, modified to use the estimated mercury-fulvic acid apparent binding constant, suggest that mercury-fulvic acid and mercury-sulfide complex concentrations are equivalent for very low sulfide ion concentrations (about 10-11 M) in Everglades' surface water. Where measurable total sulfide concentration (about 10-7 M or greater) is present in Everglades' surface water, mercury-sulfide complexes should dominate dissolved inorganic mercury solution speciation. In the absence of sulfide ion (for example, in oxygenated Everglades' surface water), fulvic acid binding should dominate Everglades' dissolved inorganic mercury speciation.

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Interactions of Mercury with Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Florida Everglades

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