The Speciation of Selected Trace Metals in Nairobi River Water, Kenya
Emily Chebet 1, 2,   Damaris Mbui 1,   Joshua Kibet 2  
,   Geoffrey Kamau 1
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University of Nairobi Department of Chemistry, Nairobi, KENYA
Egerton University Faculty of Science, Njoro, KENYA
Online publication date: 2018-03-08
Publication date: 2018-03-08
Eurasian J Anal Chem 2018;13(4):em24
Metal ions form complexes with naturally occurring ligands released from industrial effluent. The complexes are transported and enter the environment and biological system leading to environmental degradation and health problems. This contribution investigates the speciation of trace metals in water samples collected from Nairobi River. Heavy metals (Pb, Mn, Cu, Fe, Cr and Zn) were determined using spectroscopic techniques whereas sulfaver 4 method, diazotization, and titration methods were used to determine the concentration of SO42+, NO2-, F- and Cl- respectively. It was found that ~ 69.8% of total iron was in oxidation state III; the dominant species being Fe2+, Fe(OH)SO4, [FeF4]-, FeSO4, Fe2+ and [Fe(OH)2]+ during both the dry and wet seasons. Manganese was found exclusively in oxidation state II (100%) in which some of its major chemical forms were Mn2+ and [MnF6]4-. Copper was present mostly in oxidation state II (Cu2+) while lead and zinc existed chiefly as ([Zn(SO4)4]6- and [Pb(SO4)3]4-) complexes. Chromium was trivalent with its main complexes being [Cr4(OH)6]6+ and Cr(OH)(SO4)). Traces of free metal ions (Cu, Fe and Mn) were found in Lenana section of Nairobi River. Traces of free metal ions are the most aggressive water toxicants due to their high solubility in biological systems.
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