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Possible alkylation of inorganic Hg(II) by photochemical processes in the environment
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Florida International University, University Park, Miami, FL 33199, United States.
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5729-1908
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2012 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 88, no 1, 8-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The methylation of inorganic Hg by anaerobic bacteria in aquatic environments is considered to be the major pathway for methylmercury (MeHg) production. However, recent research has suggested that abiotic or chemical methylation by humic substances and other low-molecular-weight organic compounds in natural environments is also possible. Here, the aqueous photo-transformation of Hg(2+) to organomercurials was investigated in the presence of ketones, aldehydes and low molecular weight organic acids under UV irradiation. MeHg and/or ethylmercury (EtHg) were identified as the main organomercurial products by multiple analytical techniques, including chromatography-atomic spectrometry and molecular mass spectrometry and further confirmed by stable isotope tracer experiments. The yield of organomercurials was markedly influenced by pH, NaCl concentration, alkylation donor concentration and the presence of chelating ligands in the aqueous solution. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry demonstrated that the radical reaction was not the predominating alkylation pathway, although methyl radicals were detected in the photo-alkylation procedure. A mechanism based on intra-molecular alkyl transfer in the Hg(2+)-low-molecular-weight organic compound complex is proposed. The present work helps us better understand of MeHg and EtHg photo-generation in natural environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 88, no 1, 8-16 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38436DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.01.006ISI: 000304235700002PubMedID: 22314032Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84862813527OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38436DiVA: diva2:764998
Note

sponsors:

National Basic Research Program of China Grant no: 2009CB421605 

Key Project of the National Science & Technology Pillar Program Grant no: 2006BAK03A14 

National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant no:s 20807047  20907062  20937002 

Available from: 2014-11-21 Created: 2014-11-07 Last updated: 2015-06-05Bibliographically approved

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