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Mercury and its species are toxic and therefore strategies to immobilize them or to impede the formation of bioaccumulative MeHg are a hot topic of ongoing research. Biochar (BC) and sugar beet factory lime (SBFL) are suggested to have the potential to meet these goals. However, their ability to restrain the mobilization of total Hg (Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), and ethylmercury (EtHg) or the formation of MeHg and EtHg has not been examined to date. Moreover, the effect of systematically altered redox conditions on the release dynamics of Hg, MeHg, and EtHg in a contaminated floodplain soil as affected by these soil amendments has not been studied. Therefore, we investigated the impact of pre-defined redox conditions on the release dynamics of Hg, MeHg, and EtHg in a contaminated floodplain soil (CS) and the soil amended with either BC (CS+BC) or SBFL (CS+SBFL). The mobilization of Hg, MeHg, and EtHg was generally higher at low redox potential (E) and decreased with increasing E, irrespective of soil treatment. Both BC and SBFL diminished the release of Hg from soil but not the methylation and ethylation of Hg. In CS+SBFL approximately half of Hg was found in solution compared to CS. However, higher methylation efficiency (MeHg/Hg ratio) was found in CS+SBFL counterbalancing this benefit. Abundances of specific phospholipid fatty acids suggest the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria, which are considered as primary Hg methylators. The results indicate that both BC and SBFL have the potential to curtail the release of Hg from inundated soils, while SBFL was more efficient. However, these amendments had no marked effect on the MeHg and EtHg concentrations. Therefore, further research should be conducted to identify soil additives that are capable to reduce the release and formation of these Hg species.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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Stable mercury atoms that have the same atomic number as the element mercury, but differ in atomic weight. Hg-196, 198-201, and 204 are stable mercury isotopes.
Poisoning that results from chronic or acute ingestion, injection, inhalation, or skin absorption of MERCURY or MERCURY COMPOUNDS.
Unstable isotopes of mercury that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Hg atoms with atomic weights 185-195, 197, 203, 205, and 206 are radioactive mercury isotopes.
A silver metallic element that exists as a liquid at room temperature. It has the atomic symbol Hg (from hydrargyrum, liquid silver), atomic number 80, and atomic weight 200.59. Mercury is used in many industrial applications and its salts have been employed therapeutically as purgatives, antisyphilitics, disinfectants, and astringents. It can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes which leads to MERCURY POISONING. Because of its toxicity, the clinical use of mercury and mercurials is diminishing.
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