Investigations of iron coordination and redox reactions in seawater using 59Fe radiometry and ion-pair solvent extraction of amphiphilic iron complexes

Robert J.M. Hudson, Dianne T. Covault, Francois M. M. Morel

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Abstract

Iron coordination and redox reactions in synthetic and coastal seawater were investigated at nanomolar concentrations using 59Fe radiometry and ion-pair solvent extraction of iron chelated by sulfoxine (8-hydroxyquinoline-5-sulfonate) and BPDS (bathophenanthroline disulfonate). Using sulfoxine, we determined the rate at which the monomeric Fe(III) hydroxide species present in seawater of pH 8 are complexed by the microbial siderophore deferriferrioxamine B and the synthetic chelator EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). Forward rate constants of 2 × 106M-1s-1 and 20 M-1s-1, respectively, were obtained. The kinetics of these reactions have not been measured previously at pH values near that of seawater. Conditional equilibrium constants measured for the Fe(III)-EDTA system are consistent with published stability constants for EDTA complexes and for Fe(III) hydrolytic equilibria minus the neutral Fe(OH)3 o species, suggesting it is not quantitatively significant near pH 8. Commercial humic acid was found to have sufficient affinity for iron to compete with Fe(III) hydrolysis in seawater, and limited evidence was obtained for an interaction with dissolved organic matter in coastal seawater. In our investigations of redox reactions using BPDS to trap Fe(II) produced in the medium, we observed enhanced photoreduction of Fe(III) by humic acid as well as reduction induced by solutes released from phytoplankton in seawater of pH 8. Although the method is sensitive enough to work at near-oceanic levels of iron, the difficulty in distinguishing Fe(II) generated by Fe(III)-BPDS interactions from Fe(II) produced by other means limits its utility. This analytical ambiguity may be generalizable to other methods which measure ferrous iron in seawater using Fe(II)-specific ligands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-235
Number of pages27
JournalMarine Chemistry
Volume38
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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