Modelling of proton and metal exchange in the alginate biopolymer

Stefano, Concetta; Gianguzza, Antonio; Piazzese, Daniela; Sammartano, Silvio
October 2005
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Oct2005, Vol. 383 Issue 4, p587
Academic Journal
Acid�base behaviour of a commercial sodium alginate extracted from brown seaweed ( Macrocystis pyrifera) has been investigated at different ionic strengths (0.1= I/mol l-1=1.0) and in different supporting electrolytes (Et4NI, NaCl, KCl, LiCl, NaCl+MgCl2), with the aim of examining the influence of ionic medium on the proton-binding capacity and of quantifying the strength of interaction with light metal ions in the perspective of speciation studies in natural aqueous systems. Potentiometric ([H+]-glass electrode) and titration calorimetric data were expressed as a function of the dissociation degree (a) using different models (Henderson�Hasselbalch modified, H�gfeldt three parameters and linear equations). The dependence on ionic strength of the protonation constants was taken into account by a modified specific interaction theory model. Differences among different media were explained in terms of the interaction between polyanion and metal cations of the supporting electrolytes. Quantitative information on the proton-binding capacity, together with the stabilities of different species formed, is reported. Protonation thermodynamic parameters, at a=0.5, are log K H=3.686�0.005, ? G 0=-21.04�0.03 kJ mol-1, ? H 0=4.8�0.2 kJ mol-1 and T? S 0=35.7�0.3 kJ mol-1, at infinite dilution. Protonation enthalpies indicate that the main contribution to proton binding arises from the entropy term. A strict correlation between ? G and T? S was found, T? S=-9.5�1.73 ? G. Results are reported in light of building up a chemical complexation model of general validity to explain the binding ability of naturally occurring polycarboxylate polymers and biopolymers. Speciation profiles of alginate in the presence of sodium and magnesium ions, naturally occurring cations in natural waters, are also reported.


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