Reduction capability of soil humic substances from the Rio Negro basin, Brazil, towards Hg(II) studied by a multimethod approach and principal component analysis (PCA)
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This paper characterizes humic substances (HS) extracted from soil samples collected in the Rio Negro basin in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, particularly investigating their reduction capabilities towards Hg(II) in order to elucidate potential mercury cycling/volatilization in this environment. For this reason, a multimethod approach was used, consisting of both instrumental methods (elemental analysis, EPR, solid-state NMR, FIA combined with cold-vapor AAS of Hg(0)) and statistical methods such as principal component analysis (PCA) and a central composite factorial planning method. The HS under study were divided into groups, complexing and reducing ones, owing to different distribution of their functionalities. The main functionalities (cor)related with reduction of Hg(II) were phenolic, carboxylic and amide groups, while the groups related with complexation of Hg(II) were ethers, hydroxyls, aldehydes and ketones. The HS extracted from floodable regions of the Rio Negro basin presented a greater capacity to retain (to complex, to adsorb physically and/or chemically) Hg(II), while nonfloodable regions showed a greater capacity to reduce Hg(II), indicating that HS extracted from different types of regions contribute in different ways to the biogeochemical mercury cycle in the basin of the mid-Rio Negro, AM, Brazil. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier B.V.