Measuring free metal ion concentrations in multicomponent solutions using Donnan Membrane Technique

E.J.J. Kalis, E.J.M. Temminghoff, L.P. Weng, W.H. van Riemsdijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Among speciation techniques that are able to measure free metal ion concentrations, the Donnan membrane technique (DMT) has the advantage that it can measure many different free metal ion concentrations simultaneously in a multicomponent sample. Even though the DMT has been applied to several systems, like surface waters, soil solutions, and manure slurry, basic features and calibrations with model calculations of the laboratory and field DMT have not been done sufficiently yet. Therefore, we tested the application of the DMT on metal complexation with several synthetic and natural ligands and the applicability of the dynamic mode of the DMT. The results show that there is a high agreement between the calculated and measured free metal ion concentrations in solutions containing synthetic (nitriloacetic acid, diglycolic acid) and natural organic ligands (fulvic acid, humic acid) at various pH values. Both the laboratory DMT and the field DMT give very similar results. In a solution containing labile ligands, equilibrium time is smaller than in a donor solution containing inert ligands or no ligands. Moreover, when labile ligands are present in the donor solution, a dynamic procedure can be used to decrease equilibrium time. This procedure cannot be applied when no ligands or only inert ligands are present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1563
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • natural organic-matter
  • speciation measurements
  • selective electrode
  • soil solution
  • trace-metals
  • nica-donnan
  • in-situ
  • binding
  • waters
  • model

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