Anthropogenic chelating agents and biological chelating agents produced by indigenous organisms may dissolve CrIII(hydr)oxides in soils and sediments. The resulting dissolved CrIII-chelating agent complexes are more readily transported through porous media, thereby spreading contamination. With this work, we examine chelating agent-assisted dissolution of amorphous chromium hydroxide (ACH) by the (amino)carboxylate chelating agents iminodiacetic acid (IDA), nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), tricarballylic acid (TCA), citric acid (CIT), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), trans-1,2-cyclohexanediaminetetraacetic acid (CDTA), and trimethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (TMDTA). The extent of chelating agent adsorption onto ACH increased quickly over the first few hours, and then increased more gradually until a constant extent was attained. The extent of chelating agent adsorption versus pH followed "ligand-like" behavior. All chelating agents with the exception of TCA and IDA effectively dissolved significant amounts of ACH within 10 days from pH 4.0 to 9.4. IDA dissolved ACH below pH 6.5 and above pH 7.5. Rates of ACH dissolution normalized to the extent of chelating agent adsorption were pH dependent. IDA, NTA, CIT, and CDTA exhibited an increase in normalized dissolution rate with decreasing pH. EDTA and TMDTA exhibited a maximum in normalized dissolution rate near pH 8.5. Use of acetic acid as a pH buffer in experiments decreased the extent of chelating agent adsorption for IDA, NTA, and CIT but increased normalized rates of chelating agent-assisted dissolution for all chelating agents except EDTA. The results from this study provide the necessary information to calculate the extents and time scales of ACH dissolution in the presence of (amino)carboxylate chelating agents. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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