Freshwaters are recognized as dynamic systems that may be far-removed from equilibrium. A kinetic approach using the competing ligand exchange method with Chelex 100 as the competing ligand and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry to measure the dissociation kinetics was used to investigate the chemical speciation of Mn(II), Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II), and Pb(II) in model solutions of a well-characterized fulvic acid (Laurentian fulvic acid) and a freshwater sample collected from the Grand River (Ontario, Canada). The kinetic distribution of the metal species were quantitatively characterized by their first-order dissociation rate constants. This kinetic speciation approach has the advantage of providing an objective method for estimating the dissociation rate constants without any a priori assumptions about the number of kinetically distinguishable components or the shape of the distribution. Three factors were found to influence the kinetics of trace metal competition in the freshwater environment (i) metal-to-ligand ratio, (ii) ionic potential (z 2/r), and (iii) ligand field stabilization energy. The results illustrate the importance of considering the valence-shell electron configuration in predicting the kinetics of trace metal competition in the freshwater environment. The markedly slow dissociation kinetics of Ni(II) and Cu(II) species suggest that the usual equilibrium assumption for freshwaters may not be valid. This study has demonstrated the ability of the kinetic model to correctly predict the relative rates of trace metal reactions, indicating that the kinetic model provides a chemically significant description of the kinetic processes in natural waters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry