Impact of pH on CdII partitioning between alginate gel and aqueous media

E.J.J. Kalis, T.A. Davis, R.M. Town, H.P. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Many microorganisms exist in a biogel-mediated micro-environment such as a cell wall or a biofilm, in which local concentrations of ionic nutrients and pollutants differ from those in the surrounding bulk medium. The local concentration is the relevant parameter for considerations of bioavailability. These modified concentrations arise as a consequence of the negative charges within biogels which may induce a Donnan potential inside the biogel phase. For metals, the net effect on the speciation within the biogel, relative to the bulk medium, is an enhancement of the concentration of free cations. Since the structural charge in the biogel arises from protolytic functional groups, the Donnan potential is pH dependent. Here we apply in situ voltammetry to measure the free metal ion concentration inside alginate gel as a function of pH. In the pH range 3 to 7, the speciation of CdII within this model biogel can be explained by specific binding to carboxylic functional groups and electrostatic binding resulting from the Donnan potential
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-310
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • ion-exchange resin
  • ca-alginate
  • equilibrium-model
  • donnan potentials
  • acidic conditions
  • metal sorption
  • heavy-metals
  • biosorption
  • beads
  • adsorption

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