An Isotopic Dilution Approach for Quantifying Mercury Lability in Soils

Shetaya, Waleed H.; Osterwalder, Stefan; Bigalke, Moritz; Mestrot, Adrien; Huang, Jen-How; Alewell, Christine (2017). An Isotopic Dilution Approach for Quantifying Mercury Lability in Soils. Environmental science & technology letters, 4(12), pp. 556-561. ACS Publications 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00510

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The accurate estimation of soil mercury lability is crucial for risk assessment. In comparison to chemical fractionation and speciation, isotopic dilution (ID) offers precise definition of labile mercury fractions while maintaining the natural equilibrium. We developed and applied an ID protocol with 199Hg to estimate the soil mercury (Hg) isotopically exchangeable (labile) pool or HgE using a range of industrially contaminated soils in Switzerland. The measured HgE values were consistent for the same soil against different spike levels (50, 100, and 200% of native 199Hg), indicating that the spiked and soil isotopes achieved required dynamic equilibrium at the soil–water interface. Total soil Hg (THg; mg kg–1) was the best predictor of HgE (mg kg–1) and %HgE and accounted for 96 and 63% of the variance, respectively. Nonetheless, despite the wide range of THg values (0.37–310 mg kg–1) in the studied soils, Hg lability spanned a narrow range (∼12–25% of THg), highlighting the large capacity of soils to sequester Hg in a very stable form. The “exchangeable pool” of Hg extracted by CH3COONH4 and MgCl2 (<0.25 and <0.32% of THg, respectively) largely underestimated Hg lability in comparison to ID, suggesting the potential usefulness of the ID approach.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Soil Science

UniBE Contributor:

Bigalke, Moritz and Mestrot, Adrien

Subjects:

500 Science
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2328-8930

Publisher:

ACS Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Adrien Mestrot

Date Deposited:

22 Dec 2017 10:56

Last Modified:

01 Dec 2018 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00510

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.108001

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/108001

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