Influence of Citric Acid and Glycine on the Adsorption of Mercury (II) by Kaolinite Under Various pH Conditions

J. Singh1, P. M. Huang1, U. T. Hammer2 and W. K. Liaw3
1 Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5A8
2 Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5E2
3 Saskatchewan Fisheries Laboratory, Department of Parks and Renewable Resources, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7N 2X8, Canada

Abstract: This investigation was carried out to study the effect of different concentrations of citric acid and glycine, which are common in freshwaters, on the kinetics of the adsorption of Hg by kaolinite under various pH conditions. The data indicate that Hg adsorption by kaolinite at different concentrations of citric acid and glycine obeyed multiple first order kinetics. In the absence of the organic acids, the rate constants of the initial fast process were 46 to 75 times faster than those of the slow adsorption process in the pH range of 4.00 to 8.00. Citric acid had a significant retarding effect on both the fast and slow adsorption process at pHs of 6.0 and 8.0. It had a significant promoting effect on the fast and slow adsorption process at pH 4.00. Glycine had a pronounced enhancing effect on the rate of Hg adsorption by kaolinite during the fast process. The rise in pH of the system further increased the effect of glycine on Hg adsorption. The magnitude of the retarding/promoting effect upon the rate of Hg adsorption was evidently dependent upon the pH, structure and functionality of organic acids, and molar ratio of the organic acid/Hg. The data obtained suggest that low-molecular-weight organic acids merit close attention in studying the kinetics and mechanisms of the binding of Hg by sediment particulates and the subsequent food chain contamination.

Key Words: Adsorption • Kaolinite • Kinetics • Mercury • Organic acids • pH • PZC • Speciation

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 1996 v. 44; no. 1; p. 41-48; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1996.0440104
© 1996, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)