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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Dissolution Kinetics of Heavy Metals in Dutch Carbonate- and Sulfide-Rich Freshwater Sediments


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 573-580
    Received: Mar 27, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): susan.buykx@rivm.nl
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  1. S. E. J. Buykx *a,
  2. M. A. G. T. van den Hoopa and
  3. J. P. G. Lochb
  1. a National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, the Netherlands
    b Department of Geochemistry, Institute of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80021, 3508 TA Utrecht, the Netherlands


In two sulfide-rich freshwater sediments from the Biesbosch and Kromme Rijn River in the Netherlands differing in carbonate content and acid volatile sulfide (AVS) content, metal and sulfide dissolution kinetics were studied at different acid concentrations by varying both the procedure of acid addition and the extraction time. The establishment of equilibrium was monitored by measuring the pH in time, which reached a near constant value. The equilibrium pH was reached quickly when large amounts of acid were added and slowly when small amounts of acid were added. This observation was confirmed by the yield of extracted metals after either a 45-min or 24-h extraction over a pH range from 0 to 5. The pH factor seemed to be of more influence than time for the dissolution of metals. The amount of extracted metals was highly dependent on the metal itself due to its physico–chemical behavior. Although the sediments studied varied in carbonate content, acid volatile sulfide (AVS), and total metal content, the extracted fraction of metals compared with their total content in the sediment was similar for most metals. Finally, the AVS content as well as the ratio of simultaneously extracted metals (SEM; sum of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) to AVS decreased with increasing pH. Because the SEM to AVS ratio may be used to set environmental quality criteria for the sediment compartment, this observation is of significance.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:573–580.