A pyridine-thiol ligand with multiple bonding sites for heavy metal precipitation

Matthew M. Matlock, Brock S. Howerton, Kevin R. Henke, David A. Atwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


There are immediate concerns with current commercial ligands that are used for heavy metal precipitation, especially the limited arrays of bonding sites. Previous research has indicated that not only do commercial reagents lack sufficient bonding criteria, but they also fail to provide long-term stability as ligand-metal complexes. For this reason, we have developed a pyridine-based thiol ligand (DTPY) which not only offers multiple bonding sites for heavy metals but also should form stable metal-ligand precipitates. In this study, we used the divalent metals cadmium and copper to model the reactivity and pH stability of divalent metal complexes with the DTPY ligand. Using inductively-coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP), results indicate that a 50.00ppm (parts per million) copper solution, pH of 4.5, can be reduced to below the ICP detection limits of 0.00093ppm (>99.99% removal), and a 50.00ppm cadmium solution, pH of 6.0, can be reduced to 0.06ppm (99.88%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 19 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge The Eppley Foundation for Research, Inc., for their financial support on the environmental concerns and the University of Kentucky Geological Survey Institute for their assistance in the ICP analyses.


  • Cadmium
  • Chemical precipitation
  • Copper
  • Heavy metals
  • Mercury
  • Remediation
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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