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Mercury Speciation by X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy and Sequential Chemical Extractions: A Comparison of Speciation Methods

Environmental Science and Technology

By:
, , , and
DOI: 10.1021/es0341485

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Abstract

Determining the chemical speciation of mercury in contaminated mining and industrial environments is essential for predicting its solubility, transport behavior, and potential bioavailability as well as for designing effective remediation strategies. In this study, two techniques for determining Hg speciation-X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy and sequential chemical extractions (SCE)-are independently applied to a set of samples with Hg concentrations ranging from 132 to 7539 mg/kg to determine if the two techniques provide comparable Hg speciation results. Generally, the proportions of insoluble HgS (cinnabar, metacinnabar) and HgSe identified by XAFS correlate well with the proportion of Hg removed in the aqua regia extraction demonstrated to remove HgS and HgSe. Statistically significant (> 10%) differences are observed however in samples containing more soluble Hg-containing phases (HgCl2, HgO, Hg3S2O 4). Such differences may be related to matrix, particle size, or crystallinity effects, which could affect the apparent solubility of Hg phases present. In more highly concentrated samples, microscopy techniques can help characterize the Hg-bearing species in complex multiphase natural samples.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mercury Speciation by X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy and Sequential Chemical Extractions: A Comparison of Speciation Methods
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es0341485
Volume
37
Issue:
22
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
5102
Last page:
5108