Enhanced dissolution of cinnabar (mercuric sulfide) by dissolved organic matter isolated from the Florida Everglades

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Organic matter isolated from the Florida Everglades caused a dramatic increase in mercury release (up to 35 μM total dissolved mercury) from cinnabar (HgS), a solid with limited solubility. Hydrophobic (a mixture of both humic and fulvic) acids dissolved more mercury than hydrophilic acids and other nonacid fractions of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Cinnabar dissolution by isolated organic matter and natural water samples was inhibited by cations such as Ca2+. Dissolution was independent of oxygen content in experimental solutions. Dissolution experiments conducted in DI water (pH = 6.0) had no detectable (<2.5 nM) dissolved mercury. The presence of various inorganic (chloride, sulfate, or sulfide) and organic ligands (salicylic acid, acetic acid, EDTA, or cysteine) did not enhance the dissolution of mercury from the mineral. Aromatic carbon content in the isolates (determined by 13C NMR) correlated positively with enhanced cinnabar dissolution. ζ-potential measurements indicated sorption of negatively charged organic matter to the negatively charged cinnabar (pHpzc = 4.0) at pH 6.0. Possible mechanisms of dissolution include surface complexation of mercury and oxidation of surface sulfur species by the organic matter.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Enhanced dissolution of cinnabar (mercuric sulfide) by dissolved organic matter isolated from the Florida Everglades
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es9804058
Volume 32
Issue 21
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher American Chemical Society
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 7 p.
First page 3305
Last page 3311
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Everglades