Elemental Mercury Evolution Mediated by Humic Acid

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Science  24 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4139, pp. 895-897
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4139.895


Elemental mercury is formed in aqueous solution by the chemical reduction of mercuric ion in the presence of humic acid. The reduction proceeds via first order kinetics (rate constant, 0.009 hour-1) and is depndent on pH. The reaction mechanism involves interaction of the ionic metal species with the free radical electrons of the humic acid.