Lipid solubility of the platinum group metals Pt, Pd and Rh in dependence on the presence of complexing agents.
Investigations on the bioaccumulation of the platinum group metals (PGM) Pt, Pd and Rh in aquatic organisms are of growing interest in environmental research due to the increasing emission of these metals by motor vehicles with catalytic converters. Until now, nothing is known about the possible influence of complexing agents on the bioaccumulation capacity of these precious metals. According to the partition coefficient between 1-octanol and water (POW) as a measure of bioaccumulation, in this study a simple shaking method was performed in order to investigate the effects of different complexing agents (-methionine, thio urea, EDTA, humic substances, bile compounds) on the octanol solubility of the PGM. The results demonstrated a significant influence of all agents used. -Methionine and thio urea decreased the lipid solubility. In contrast, the presence of EDTA, humic substances and especially bile caused a higher transfer of metals in the octanol phase. For most complexing agents tested, the transfer of Pd to the lipid phase was significantly higher compared with Rh and Pt, except for bile acid where the highest octanol solubility was found for Pt. Recent experimental results on PGM accumulation in zebra mussels confirm a high bioaccumulation of Pd which could be predicted from the lipid solubility.
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