Aqueous mercury precipitation with the synthetic dithiolate, BDTH2

Lisa Y. Blue, Partha Jana, David A. Atwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


BDTH2, 1,3-benzenediamidoethanethiol (common name) and closely related derivatives were specifically designed to become insoluble after the formation of linear, covalent bonds to aqueous mercury(II). BDTH2 (IUPAC nomenclature, N,N′-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide) emerged as the preeminent reagent for the complete precipitation of mercury from water after several years of studies with a wide range of compounds having one, two, three, and four thiol groups. BDTH2 does not become inactive through oxidation to disulfide and can be applied to mercury-containing water as acidic, basic, and ethanolic solutions. The BDT-Hg precipitate is extremely stable and leaches low-ppm levels of mercury only under extremely acidic and basic conditions. BDTH2 is also effective in the aqueous precipitation of other soft, divalent metals, such as copper, cadmium, lead, and the main group elements, arsenic and selenium. The insolubility of the BDT-M compounds can be attributed to the presence of strong, non-polar, covalent M-S bonding within a water-insoluble organic framework. BDTH2 has no known biological toxicity and is being sold as a nutritional supplement under the trade name OSR-1. This review describes the chemistry, precipitation, and leaching studies of BDTH2 with mercury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1330
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • BDTH
  • Mercury
  • Mitigation
  • N,N′-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide)
  • Remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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