Phosphate hinders the complexation of dissolved organic matter with copper in lake waters.

Affiliation

Ding X(1), Xu W(2), Li Z(3), Huang M(1), Wen J(1), Jin C(1), Zhou M(4).
Author information:
(1)College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control
(Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan, 410082, PR China.
(2)College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control
(Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan, 410082, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control
(Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan, 410082, PR China; College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, China.

Abstract

The properties of phosphate in lakes and their ability to cause eutrophication have been well studied; however, the effects of phosphate on the environmental behavior of other substances in lakes have been ignored. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) and heavy metals may coexist with phosphate in lakes. Herein, the mechanisms underlying the influence of phosphate on heavy metals complexation with DOM were investigated using multi-spectroscopic tools. Overall, the amount of DOM-bound Cu(Ⅱ) decreased with the increasing phosphate content. Furthermore, the fluorescence excitation and emission matrix results combined with parallel factor analysis showed that when the Cu(Ⅱ) concentration increased from 0 to 5 mg/L and 50 μM phosphate to the reaction of DOM and copper, the fluorescence intensity of tyrosine (component 1), humic-like (component 2) and tryptophan (component 3) decreased by 36.46%, 57.34%, and 74.70% compared with the treatment with no phosphate addition, respectively. This finding indicates that the binding of different fluorescent components to Cu(Ⅱ) was restricted by phosphate. Furthermore, different functional groups responded differently to Cu(Ⅱ) under different phosphate concentrations. The binding sequence of different functional groups under high concentration of phosphate (phenolic hydroxyl group>amide (Ⅰ) >carbohydrates) was completely opposite to that with no phosphate. These results demonstrated that phosphate could restrict the binding affinity of heavy metals with different fluorescent substances or organic ligands of DOM, suggesting that the comigration of DOM-bound heavy metals in lakes is hindered by phosphate and the risk of heavy metal poisoning in aquatic organisms is therefore diminished.