Special Issue Paper

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 376, Issue 5, pp 631-638

First online:

Complexation of uranium(VI) with protocatechuic acid—application of iterative transformation factor analysis to EXAFS spectroscopy

  • A. RoßbergAffiliated withForschungszentrum Rossendorf e.V., Institute of Radiochemistry Email author 
  • , T. ReichAffiliated withJohannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry Email author 
  • , G. BernhardAffiliated withForschungszentrum Rossendorf e.V., Institute of Radiochemistry

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The speciation of 1 mM uranium(VI) in carbonate-free aqueous solutions of 50 mM protocatechuic acid (PCA, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid) was studied in the pH range of 4.0 to 6.8 using EXAFS spectroscopy. The uranium LIII-edge EXAFS spectra were analyzed using a newly developed computer algorithm for iterative transformation factor analysis (FA). Two structural different uranium(VI) complexes were observed. The speciation in the pH range of 4.0 to 4.8 is dominated by a 1:2 or 1:3 uranium(VI)/PCA complex with bidentate coordination of the carboxyl group to the uranium(VI) moiety. Already at pH 4.6 significant amounts of a second species are formed. This uranium(VI) species contains two PCA ligands that are bound to the uranium via their neighboring phenolic hydroxyl groups under formation of five-member rings.


Uranium Protocatechuic acid Complexation EXAFS spectroscopy Factor analysis Speciation