Mercury forms in contaminated environmental samples were studied by means of sequential extraction and thermal desorption from the solid phase. The sequential extraction procedure involved the following fractions: water soluble mercury, mercury extracted in acidic conditions, mercury bound to humic substances, elemental Hg and mercury bound to complexes, HgS, and residual mercury. In addition to sequential extraction, the distribution of mercury species as a function of soil particles size was studied. The thermal desorption method is based on the thermal decomposition or desorption of Hg compounds at different temperatures. The following four species were observed: Hg0, HgCl2, HgS and Hg(II) bound to humic acids. The Hg release curves from artificial soils and real samples were obtained and their applicability to the speciation analysis was considered. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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