Objectives: (i) to study trace metal speciation in order to understand toxicity, bioavailability and degradation of its chemical forms; (ii) to evaluate and anticipate natural and anthropogenic future changes.
Studies: trace metal complexation with humic matter (kinetics, equilibrium, competition of macrocations). Organic macromolecules adsorption in charged and neutral interfaces. Trace metal speciation in natural water samples. Effect of UVB radiation. Water column / sediment exchange mechanisms.
1.2 - Chemical Processes in Soils
Objectives: (i) to understand the mobility of trace metal ions in water/soil/plant systems and ion transfer inside the plant; (ii) to predict food chain contamination and to develop methods for soil remediation.
Studies: trace metal uptake by plants in nutritive solutions and soils and its complexation inside the plant. Plant detoxification mechanisms. Chemical remediation and phytoremediation of soils.
1.3 - Development of analytical methods
Objectives: to develop methodologies to determine total concentration and speciation of trace metal ions.
Studies: development and application of (i) voltammetric methods in the absence of organic matter adsorption; (ii) enzymatic probe sonication.