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trace element speciation


It is widely acknowledged that chemical speciation is essential to understanding the mobility, reactivity, bioavailability and toxicity of trace elements in aquatic systems, sediments and soils.

Accurate measurement of specific chemical species is notoriously difficult, especially in situ and conditions that are thought to be representative of the natural environment. To overcome these limitations, we use a combination of novel experimental techniques and numerical modelling.

We are particularly interested in the role of dissociation rates in regulating the bioavailability of trace elements at biotic interfaces.

Key publications

  • D. Welikala, C. Hucker, A. Hartland, B.H. Robinson and N.J. Lehto (2018) Trace metal mobilization by organic soil amendments: insights gained from analyses of solid and solution phase complexation of cadmium, nickel and zinc. Chemosphere, 199, pp.684-693. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.069

  • M. R. Shafaei Arvajeh, N. Lehto, . A. Garmo, and H. Zhang (2012) Kinetic Studies of Ni Organic Complexes Using Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (DGT) with Double Binding Layers and a Dynamic Numerical Model. Environmental Science & Technology 47(1) 463-470. DOI: 10.1021/es301371b

  • N.J. Lehto, W. Davison, H. Zhang (2012) The use of ultra-thin diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) devices for the analysis of trace metal dynamics in soils and sediments: a measurement and modelling approach. Environmental Chemistry 9 (4) 415-423. DOI: 10.1071/EN12036

  • N.J. Lehto, L. Sochaczewski, W. Davison, W. Tych, H. Zhang (2008) Quantitative assessment of soil parameter (KD and tC) estimation using DGT measurements and the 2D DIFS model. Chemosphere, 71 (4) 795-801.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.10.003

  • N.J. Lehto, W. Davison, H. Zhang, W. Tych (2006) An Evaluation of DGT Performance Using a Dynamic Numerical Model. Environmental Science & Technology, 40 (20) 63686376. DOI: 10.1021/es061215x