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Lanthanide−Humic Substances Complexation. II. Calibration of Humic Ion-Binding Model V

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journal contribution
posted on 15.12.2006, 00:00 by Jeroen E. Sonke
The experimental complexation of the lanthanides (Sc, Y, and rare earth elements) with Suwannee river fulvic acid, Leonardite coal humic acid, and Elliot soil humic acid is described with Humic Ion-Binding Model V. The fitted intrinsic equilibrium constants for metal-proton exchange, pKMHA, for Eu3+ are similar to previously published experimental fits, and linear free energy relationship (LFER) estimated values. The experimentally observed lanthanide contraction effect in REE−humic complex stability is reflected in the gradual decrease in pKMHA from La to Lu. In Model V, a decrease in pKMHA from La to Lu indicates an increase in complex stability. Fitted pKMHA values for heavy REE are lower than those estimated by LFERs. Consequently, REE fractionation by humic substances complexation could be more pronounced than previously thought. Recommended pKMHA values for lanthanide−fulvic and −humic acid complexation are derived by superimposing the fitted trends in pKMHA for all REE, i.e., the decrease in pKMHA from La to Lu, on the average Eu pKMHA value for all literature datasets. These results will allow modeling assessments of organic matter induced REE fractionation in aquatic environments, taking into account changes in pH, ionic strength, and ion competition. A simulation of dissolved REE speciation in an average world river suggests that organic matter outcompetes carbonate complexation, even under alkaline conditions.