You are on page 1of 4

CHEMICAL SPECIATION

Definition …….. The identification of compounds or species
(inorganic, organic and organo-metallic) of an element in the aquatic system is termed as Chemical Speciation.

Explanation……
Different physio-chemical forms of many elements may exist in water systems. These different forms often exhibit different physical, chemical and biological properties, which have been studied widely in recent years. The total concentrations of the elements alone cannot explain the transport,behavior,effects and the fate of such elements in the water systems. So the term speciation has become widely accepted, particularly with reference to the metals as appropriate to describe this distribution of an element between different physic-chemical forms or species. Thus, the immediate and long term effects of an element discharged into a water system are influenced by its speciation. Chemical identification or analysis of different compounds of an element is an important aspect of environmental analysis. It enables us to know the concentration and type of species that exist in an aquatic system and their impacts on biological activities…… for example the toxicity of an element and its compounds differs widely. Hg is an example of heavy metal. It is not very toxic, but (CH3)2Hg is highly toxic. As is another example of heavy metals. In marine organisms it is present as an organic compound arsenobetaine (CH3)3AsCH2COO- which is not toxic. But AsO2- which is inorganic specie is toxic. Thus chemical speciation of an element is important to know the impacts on living organisms in aquatic system…

EXAMPLES 1. distribution patterns. 2. Arsenate species are stable at high values in highly aerated waters… in acidic or alkaline solution arsenic combines with very strongly with sulfur and carbon in organic compounds. If more species of an element are present. +3. But As -3 is found at extremely low PH values. Cadmium (Cd)…. .e. Arsenic (As)… Arsenic can produce 8 electron reductions from +5 to the -3 state and in eq system+5. 0 and -3 are obtained. order of the stabilities of their complexes and so on….Chemical speciation refers to the different chemical forms of an element in water system. An element may occur just as single molecular species or more molecular species in the environment expending on the environmental conditions. Every element is capable of forming at least a few molecular species.. Arsenite is more toxic to aquatic than arsenate……. and then the different species are competitive in nature i. Of the other…… The elements are more likely to affect the water quality parameters depending on the nature of their different chemical forms. of one of them may b higher than the conc. the conc.

Hydrolysis of precipitates of lead phosphate and lead sulfide above PH 6 solubalizes lead as Pb(OH)+.5 Pb(OH)+ is the major species in the chloride conc. +2 and +3 are known though Cu +2 is most common and Cu +1 is a soft. 4. Chlorides are more selective than many organic complexing agents in their interaction with cadmium. chloride. arsenides. Copper is widely distributed in nature in the Free State and in sulphides. Cadmium begins to hydrolyze at PH 9 forming Cd(OH)+ species. Cadmium forms moderately stable complexes with a variety of the organic compounds.Cadmium is an oxyphillic and sulphophillic element.. Cadmium +2 is present totally as the divalent species up to PH 8 in the absence of sulphide and phosphate. The copper complexes of oxidation state +1. . The Pb +2 and Pb(OH)+ ions are present in equal conc. It undergoes multiple hydrolysis at normal PH values. Lead (Pb)…. ammonia and hydroxide. Copper forms complexes with hard bases like carbonates. In aquatic system copper can exist in the broad categories---. range 355-56200 mg/L. chlorides and carbonates. nitrate. Nickel (Ni)…….colloidal and soluble forms. Copper is highly toxic to most aquatic plants. with organic ligands containing S. Lead is classified as an intermediate acceptor between hard and soft acids in its interaction with ligands. sulphate. 3. Inorganic Lead is less toxic to aquatic plants than mercury and copper. Insoluble Pb(OH)2 is not found till PH 10. 5. Copper (Cu)…. Lead has stable +2 and +4 oxidation states. Cadmium is usually less toxic to plants than melting mercury and copper. At PH 8.O and N donors atoms..The hydroxyl in is common in natural waters.

N and S donor atoms form strong complexes with nickel. Compounds of the +2 are most common. Ni is generally less toxic to aquatic lives. sulfates.organic ligands with O. Humic acid fulvic acid form moderately strong complexes with Ni. Inorganic complexes include halides.phosphates. .Nickel can achieve oxidation states from -1 to +4. Nickel +2 forms stable complexes with inorganic and organic ligands.carbonates and carbonyls.