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Copper(II) binding by dissolved organic matter: Importance of the copper-to-dissolved organic matter ratio and implications for the Biotic Ligand Model

January 1, 2012

The ratio of copper to dissolved organic matter (DOM) is known to affect the strength of copper binding by DOM, but previous methods to determine the Cu2+–DOM binding strength have generally not measured binding constants over the same Cu:DOM ratios. In this study, we used a competitive ligand exchange–solid-phase extraction (CLE-SPE) method to determine conditional stability constants for Cu2+–DOM binding at pH 6.6 and 0.01 M ionic strength over a range of Cu:DOM ratios that bridge the detection windows of copper-ion-selective electrode and voltammetry measurements. As the Cu:DOM ratio increased from 0.0005 to 0.1 mg of Cu/mg of DOM, the measured conditional binding constant (cKCuDOM) decreased from 1011.5 to 105.6 M–1. A comparison of the binding constants measured by CLE-SPE with those measured by copper-ion-selective electrode and voltammetry demonstrates that the Cu:DOM ratio is an important factor controlling Cu2+–DOM binding strength even for DOM isolates of different types and different sources and for whole water samples. The results were modeled with Visual MINTEQ and compared to results from the biotic ligand model (BLM). The BLM was found to over-estimate Cu2+ at low total copper concentrations and under-estimate Cu2+ at high total copper concentrations.

Publication Year 2012
Title Copper(II) binding by dissolved organic matter: Importance of the copper-to-dissolved organic matter ratio and implications for the Biotic Ligand Model
DOI 10.1021/es301015p
Authors Alison M. Craven, George R. Aiken, Joseph N. Ryan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Science & Technology
Index ID 70189578
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Research Program - Central Branch