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Toward an internally consistent model for Hg(II) chemical speciation calculations in bacterium–natural organic matter–low molecular mass thiol systems

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c01751 DOI Help

Authors: Yu Song (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) , Gbotemi A. Adediran (Umeå University) , Tao Jiang (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) , Shusaku Hayama (Diamond Light Source) , Erik Bjorn (Umeå University) , Ulf Skyllberg (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Environmental Science & Technology

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9157

Abstract: To advance the scientific understanding of bacteria-driven mercury (Hg) transformation processes in natural environments, thermodynamics and kinetics of divalent mercury Hg(II) chemical speciation need to be understood. Based on Hg LIII-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopic information, combined with competitive ligand exchange (CLE) experiments, we determined Hg(II) structures and thermodynamic constants for Hg(II) complexes formed with thiol functional groups in bacterial cell-membranes of two extensively studied Hg(II) methylating bacteria: Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132. The Hg EXAFS data suggest 5% of the total number of membrane thiol functionalities (Mem-RStot = 380 ± 50 µmol g−1 C) are situated closely enough to be involved in a 2-coordinated Hg(Mem-RS)2 structure in Geobacter. The remaining 95% of Mem-RSH are involved in mixed-ligation Hg(II)-complexes, either with low molecular mass (LMM) thiols like Cys, Hg(Cys)(Mem-RS) or with neighboring O/N membrane functionalities, Hg(Mem-RSRO). We report log K values for the formation of the structures Hg(Mem-RS)2, Hg(Cys)(Mem-RS), and Hg(Mem-RSRO) to be 39.1 ± 0.2 , 38.1 ± 0.1 and 25.6 ± 0.1, respectively, for Geobacter; and 39.2 ± 0.2 , 38.2 ± 0.1 and 25.7 ± 0.1, respectively for ND132. Combined with results obtained from previous studies using the same methodology to determine chemical speciation of Hg(II) in presence of natural organic matter (Suwannee River DOM) and 15 LMM thiols, an internally consistent thermodynamic data set is created, which we recommend to be used in studies of Hg transformation processes in Bacterium–NOM–LMM thiols systems.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Environment

Instruments: I20-Scanning-X-ray spectroscopy (XAS/XES)