We assessed the use of anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) for in-situ determinations of both total concentration and speciation of dissolved heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) in acid mine drainage (AMD). In the Kwangyang Au–Ag mine area of South Korea, different sites with varying water chemistry within an AMD were studied with a field portable anodic stripping voltammeter. Anodic stripping voltammetry after wet oxidation (acidification) was very sensitive enough to determine total concentration of dissolved Cd because Cd was dominantly present as ‘labile’ species, whilst the technique was not so effective for determining total Cu especially in the downstream sites from the retention pond, due to its complexation with organic matter. For dissolved Pb, the concentrations determined by ASV after wet oxidation generally agreed with those by ICP-AES. In the downstream samples (pH>5), however, ASV data after wet oxidation were lower than ICP-AES data because a significant fraction of dissolved Pb was present in those samples as ‘inert’ species associated with colloidal iron oxide particles. The determination of total dissolved Zn by ASV after wet oxidation appeared to be unsatisfactory for the samples with high Cu content, possibly due to the interference by the formation of Zn–Cu intermetallic compounds on the mercury coated electrode. In AMD samples with high dissolved iron, use of ultraviolet irradiation was not effective for determining total concentrations because humate destruction by UV irradiation possibly resulted in the removal of a part of dissolved heavy metals from waters through the precipitation of iron hydroxides.
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This study was financially supported by the Environmental Geosphere Research Lab (EGRL) of Korea University. We thank anonymous journal reviewers for providing many constructive comments on the manuscript.
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Jung, HB., Yun, ST., Kim, SO. et al. In-situ electrochemical measurements of total concentration and speciation of heavy metals in acid mine drainage (AMD): assessment of the use of anodic stripping voltammetry. Environ Geochem Health 28, 283–296 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-006-9044-2