Determination of Organic Complexation

  • C. M. G. van den Berg
Part of the Environmental Science book series (ESE)


It has been known for several decades that trace metals can become complexed by organic matter in natural waters. Only relatively recently has it become known that some interesting metals such as copper, zinc, iron, nickel, cobalt and probably more, participate in these reactions. This complexation changes the geochemistry of the metals by preventing them from being scavenged and thus increases their residence time in estuaries and the upper water column. The complexation also changes the availability to organisms (algae, mollusks or fish). It is therefore important to determine the chemical speciation of metals in addition to their dissolved concen tration in sea water. The organic complexation has been determined in the past by several methods, including fluorescence quenching (Berger et al. 1984), solubility increases (Campbell et al. 1977), anodic stripping voltammetry (Chau et al. 1974), competitive adsorption on MnO2 (van den Berg and Kramer 1979) and preconcentra tion on C18 cartridges (Mills and Quinn 1981). The most important methods to determine the chemical speciation of metals in the marine system now use voltammetry with and without ligand competition. These methods will be explained in this chapter.


Organic Complexation Ligand Concentration Anal Chim Detection Window Emiliania Huxleyi 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

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  • C. M. G. van den Berg

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