Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 125–144 | Cite as

A reevaluation of the Fe(II), Ca(II), Zn(II), and proton formation constants of 4,7-diphenyl-1, 10-phenanthrolinedisulfonate

  • Paul F. Bell
  • Yona Chen
  • William E. Potts
  • Rufus L. Chaney
  • Jay S. Angle


The compound 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthrolinedisulfonic acid (BPDS) has been found to be very useful in studying Fe uptake by plants, because it forms a large charged complex that is not absorbed. The quantity of BPDS, bound to metals in hydroponic solutions can be estimated from calculations using formation constants of BPDS complexes. These formation constants were used in an earlier experiment to predict the availability of Cu to corn plants. In the experiment, bioassays indicated that Cu was not as phytoavailable in the BPDS-added solutions as predicted by chemical equilibrium calculations. To determine sources of error in this prediction, metal and proton BPDS formation constants were reevaluated at 25°C and 0.10M ionic strength. The CaBPDS formation constant was determined by direct measurement of CaBPDS3 formation and was shown to be ∼1.0; a value much less than that reported before. Formation constants for the HBPDS, H(BPDS)2 and H(BPDS)3, β1, β2, and β3 complexes were, respectively, 5.05±0.044, 7.44±0.019, and 9.33±0.28. The BPDS sulfonic acid group pKs were <1.0, not 2.8 as has been reported. The FeBPDS3 complex determined by ligand competition with EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetate) was 20.24±0.08. Copper and Zn constants were determined using the method of corresponding solutions. The CuBPDS, CuBPDS2, and CuBPDS3, β1, β2, and β3 constants were, respectively, 9.76±0.08, 15.9, and 20.9. The ZnBPDS, ZnBPDS2, and ZnBPDS3 β1, β2, and β3 constants were, respectively, 6.43±0.07, 10.7±5.4, and 17.3±0.8. Results indicated that, BPDS affinity to metals was similar to that of its parent compound, phenanthroline, and that errors in published formation constants caused erroneous predictions of Cu phytoavailability used in an earlier experiment.

Index Entries

Corresponding solutions metal bioavailability, effect of copper ion activity on, method of 1, 10-phenanthroline stability constants 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul F. Bell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yona Chen
    • 3
  • William E. Potts
    • 4
  • Rufus L. Chaney
    • 5
  • Jay S. Angle
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyUniversity of MarylandCollege Park
  2. 2.Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiverside
  3. 3.Seagram Center for Soil and Water SciencesThe Hebrew UniversityRehovotIsrael
  4. 4.Statistical Consulting Service, USDA-ARSUniversity of Maryland/USDABeltsville
  5. 5.Soil Microbial Systems LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBeltsville

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