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Adsorption of mercury compounds by tropical soils II. Effect of soil: Solution ratio, ionic strength, pH, and organic matter

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Mercury adsorbed from HgCl2 and 2-methoxy-ethylmercury chloride (Aretan) solutions by three contrasting soils showed a dependence on soil: solution ratio and initial Hg concentration in soil solution. Changing the soil solution ratio from 1: 10 to 1 : 100 but keeping the initial concentration constant resulted in an increase in Hg adsorption from both Hg compounds. A similar change in soil: solution ratio accompanied by a decrease in initial concentration, on the other hand, resulted in decrease in Hg adsorption. Upon manipulating of the pH of the surface soils, adsorption of HgCl2 at 100 mg Hg L−1 concentration increased from about 701 :o over 95 mg Hg kg−1 when pH was raised from 5.0 to 8.0. Precipitation of Hg may also have contributed to this trend. Aretan adsorption by these soils, on the other hand, changed little with change in pH. Removal of organic matter from soil resulted in large reductions of Hg adsorbed, as much as 95 % from the HgCl2 solutions, but only up to 31 % from Aretan solutions. This suggests that organic matter in soil played a mayor role in the adsorption of inorganic Hg whereas the soils' mineral fractions were involved more in the adsorption of the organic Hg compound.

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Semu, E., Singh, B.R. & Selmer-Olsen, A.R. Adsorption of mercury compounds by tropical soils II. Effect of soil: Solution ratio, ionic strength, pH, and organic matter. Water Air Soil Pollut 32, 1–10 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00227678

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  • Organic Matter
  • Mercury
  • Soil Solution
  • HgCl2
  • Mineral Fraction