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Zinc Binding to Fulvic acids: Assessing the Impact of pH, Metal Concentrations and Chemical Properties of Fulvic Acids on the Mechanism and Stability of Formed Soluble Complexes

Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
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Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061297
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
The aim of the study was defined as a complementary analysis of molecular interactions between zinc (Zn) and fulvic acids (FAs) at a broad pH range (3–7), different metal concentrations (0–50 mg dm−3) and chemical properties of FAs and their impact on the Zn binding mechanism, stability, and efficiency. The results showed that the complexation reaction prevailed at pH 6 and 7, whereas protons exchange dominated interactions at pH 3. Stability constant of the complexes increased along with pH (logK increased from ~3.8 to 4.2). Complexation was preferred by less-humidified structures of lower molecular mass containing more oxygen groups. The number of fluorophores available for Zn(II) increased from pH 3 to 7 by ~44%. Depending on the pH, complexation involved a bidentate chelate, monodentate and bidentate bridging mode. Zn(II) binding was insufficiently modeled by the classic Stern–Volmer equation and well described by the double logarithmic equation (R > 0.94) as well as by a modified Stern–Volmer formula assuming the existence of available and unavailable fluorophore populations (R > 0.98). The fluorescence ratio of different fluorophores was proposed as an indicator of the binding affinity of various structures. A positive relationship was found between the fraction of accessible fluorophores and Zn(II) binding at pH 7 determined based on proton release (R = 0.91–0.97). The obtained results can find application in controlling the mobility and bioavailability of Zn in different conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fulvic acids; zinc soluble complexes; micronutrient organic complexes; metal binding to humic substances fulvic acids; zinc soluble complexes; micronutrient organic complexes; metal binding to humic substances
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Boguta, P.; Sokołowska, Z. Zinc Binding to Fulvic acids: Assessing the Impact of pH, Metal Concentrations and Chemical Properties of Fulvic Acids on the Mechanism and Stability of Formed Soluble Complexes. Molecules 2020, 25, 1297.

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