Humic acid complexation to Zn and Cd determined with the new electroanalytical technique AGNES
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AGNES (absence of gradients and Nernstian equilibrium stripping), an emerging electroanalytical technique specifically designed for the determination of the free concentration of heavy metals in aqueous solutions, is here implemented to characterise the binding of CdII and ZnII to a soil humic acid. A set of metal titration experiments were performed by adding Cd or Zn to a purified humic acid (Aldrich) at pH 4, 5, 6 and 7 and measuring the free metal concentration by AGNES. The application of a program with two potential steps along the deposition stage allows for the reduction of the deposition time in the humic titration. The polyelectrolytic effects of the macromolecular ligand were taken into account through the Donnan model. Data free of electrostatic effects were reasonably described by the NICA isotherm, which accounts for heterogeneity, considering just a monomodal distribution (because of the range of pH covered). The obtained affinity parameters indicate a similar strength for Zn and Cd binding to the purified humic acid.