Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 216, Issue 1–4, pp 679–691 | Cite as

Complexation Study of Humic Acids Extracted from Forest and Sahara Soils with Zinc (II) and Cadmium (II) by Differential Pulse Anodic Stripping Voltammetry (DPASV) and Conductimetric Methods

  • Achour Terbouche
  • Safia Djebbar
  • Ouassini Benali-Baitich
  • Didier Hauchard


The complexation of heavy metals, present in their dissolved state at relevant trace levels, with new humic acids (HAs) isolated from Yakouren forest (YHA) and Sahara (Tamenrasset: THA) soils has been studied by differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry (DPASV) at a hanging mercury drop electrode and conductimetry methods. After extraction and purification, humic acids were characterized by elemental analyses, atomic absorption spectroscopy, FT-IR, and solution state 13C-NMR. Taking Zn(II) and Cd(II) as examples, the aim of this study was to gain direct information on the general level of importance of humic acids for the speciation of certain heavy metals in soil to determine the complexing capacities of AHs and stability constant of the complexes formed with these metal ions and to compare the complexation capacity of forest and Sahara soils with the commercial humic acid and other published AHs. The results determined by conductimetry method are interpreted using an excess function (∆k) which related the conductivity of the mixture and of the separated components. A positive value of this function is obtained. It indicates the complexation of humic acids with metallic ions. The DPASV method was used for determining metal ion complexing capacities and stability constants of metal ion complexes of HAs in solution at pH 7. In both types of soils, the commercial humic acid (CHA) is less efficient in complexing Zn(II) and Cd(II) than THA and YHA and the complexing capacity (CCM) decreases in the order: THA > YHA > CHA. In general, the results of complexing capacity for all humic acids and stability constants of Zn(II) and Cd(II) complexes found by DPASV method showed good correlation with those of conductimetry method. CCM of THA and YHA calculated by DPASV were higher than those of CHA and the other natural HAs published in the literature at pH 7 basing on these results.


Metal ion complexation Soil humic acids Complexing capacities DPASV Conductimetry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achour Terbouche
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Safia Djebbar
    • 2
  • Ouassini Benali-Baitich
    • 2
  • Didier Hauchard
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Scientific and Technical Research Center in Physico-Chemical AnalysesAlgiersAlgeria
  2. 2.Hydrometallurgy and Molecular Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Faculty of ChemistryHouari Boumediene Technologies Sciences UniversityAlgiersAlgeria
  3. 3.Laboratoire Sciences Chimiques RennesUMR CNRS 6226, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de RennesRennes Cedex 7France
  4. 4.Université Européenne de Bretagne35000RennesFrance

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