Bioresource technology

Desorption of Hg(II) and Sb(V) on extracellular polymeric substances: effects of pH, EDTA, Ca(II) and temperature shocks.

PMID 23247408


Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) existed ubiquitously in biological systems affect the mobility and availability of heavy metals in the environments. The adsorption-desorption behaviors of Hg(II) and Sb(V) on EPS were investigated. The sorption rates follow Sb(V) > Hg(II), and the desorption rates follow reverse order. Applications of ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), Ca(II) and pH shocks affect desorption rates and desorbed quantities of Hg(II) from EPS-Hg complex. Temperature shock minimally affects the desorption rate of Hg(II). Conversely, the EPS-Sb complex is stable subjected to EDTA, Ca(II), temperature or pH shocks. The excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy and fast-Fourier (FT-IR) analysis showed that Hg(II) and Sb(V) principally interacted with polysaccharides and protein-like compounds in the EPS, respectively. The EPS-Hg complex presents a time bomb that may release high levels of Hg(II) in short time period under environmental shocks.