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Speciation and complexation of trace metals in eastern Canadian soils

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Trace Elements -- Environmental Aspects -- Canada
  • Eastern.
  • Metals -- Environmental Aspects -- Canada
  • Eastern.
  • Soil Pollution -- Canada
  • Eastern.


Proton and metal complexation to the surface of soil particles (Chapters 4 and 5) was investigated using back-titration and batch adsorption procedures. It was shown that the surface binding of H+, Cd2+, Hg2+ and Pb2+ was significantly related to soil organic matter (SOM). Though the soil particle surface was covered by a mixture of organic and mineral components, a two-site distribution could be identified from the titration curves. With the parameters derived from the back-titration and adsorption data, the MICA-Donnan model reasonably predicted the surface complexation of proton and metals. Furthermore, the statistically significant relationships between the model parameters and soil organic matter supported the assumptions in this thesis: (1) Organic matter was the most important sorbent on the particle surface; (2) The MICA-Donnan model may be used to interpret the surface binding data in these soils.

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