Accumulation of humic acid in DET/DGT gels

P.L.R. van der Veeken, P. Chakraborty, H.P. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Gel layer based sensors are increasingly employed for dynamic trace metal speciation analysis in aquatic and soil media. In DGT (Diffusive Gradient in Thin film), polyacrylamide hydrogels are commonly used for the diffusive gel layer. While some effects of humic and fulvic acids on the DGT detection of metal species have been observed, the gel permeation properties of the actual humic and fulvic acid compounds themselves have not been analyzed thus far. Here we show with DET (Diffusive Equilibrium in Thin film) that these natural complexing agents do enter the gel layer, and that humic acids even appear to accumulate in the gel, with enrichment factors typically on the order of 10. The results have consequences for the interpretation of DGT-data on metal fluxes from aquatic media containing humics and fulvics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4253-4257
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • in-situ
  • speciation analysis
  • metal speciation
  • proton-binding
  • complexes
  • diffusion
  • waters
  • dgt
  • bioaccumulation
  • bioavailability

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