Measuring marine iron(III) complexes by CLE-AdSV

R.M. Town, H.P. van Leeuwen

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Iron(iii) speciation data, as determined by competitive ligand exchange?adsorptive stripping voltammetry (CLE-AdSV), is reconsidered in the light of the kinetic features of the measurement. The very large stability constants reported for iron(iii) in marine ecosystems are shown to be possibly due to an artefact of the technique, arising from the assumption that equilibrium is achieved between all iron(iii) species of relevance. Particular kinetic properties, related to the special nature of hydroxide as a metal complexant, have the consequence that CLE-AdSV measurements of iron(iii) in seawater generally correspond to the hydroxide complexes only. By the same token, dissolved hydroxide complexes are the key components of the bioavailable iron(iii) pool. The analysis presented herein opens opportunities to exploit CLE-AdSV for more rigorous investigation of the links between the speciation and the bioavailability of iron(iii).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-84
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • cathodic stripping voltammetry
  • natural organic-ligands
  • iron-limited growth
  • southern-ocean
  • north pacific
  • sea-water
  • kinetics
  • seawater
  • speciation
  • coordination


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