Aquatic Geochemistry

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 313–335

Comparison of the Complexation of Cu and Cd by Humic or Fulvic Acids and by Ligands Observed in Lake Waters

  • Hanbin Xue
  • Laura Sigg


The complexation of Cu and Cd by ligands observed in filtered unfractionated lakewaters is compared to the complexation by humic and fulvic acids. Complexation parameters (conditional stability constants and ligand concentrations) of Suwannee River fulvic acids (FA), purified peat humic acids (HA) and of ligands in lakewater samples have been determined using the same methods (ligand-exchange and CSV (cathodic stripping voltammetry) or ASV (anodic stripping voltammetry)), and the same titration ranges of Cu, Cd and organic carbon concentrations. The performance of the used techniques is first evaluated in FA and HA suspensions, and gives comparable results with the literature values for the same materials, according to published models (5-site model, NICA model) and parameters. Model calculations using the WHAM model for FA and HA (Tipping, 1994) are also presented. The comparison of titrations of FA and HA with Cu and Cd with those of lakewater samples indicates that stronger ligands than FA and HA are present at low concentrations in the lakewaters. Specific strong ligands occur in particular in eutrophic lake waters, whereas in a lake with higher metal concentrations and low biological productivity the ligands more closely match the fulvic acid characteristics.

Cd complexation Cu complexation humic-metal complexation humic substances lake water natural ligands 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanbin Xue
    • 1
  • Laura Sigg
    • 2
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG)Kastanienbaum
  2. 2.DuebendorfSwitzerland

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