Aqueous complexation studies of lead(II) and cadmium(II) with 1,3-bis(tris(hydroxymethyl)methylamino)propane pH buffer

Carlos M.H. Ferreira, Isabel S.S. Pinto, Georgina M.S. Alves, Seyedeh Maryam Sedeghi, Helena M.V.M. Soares*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen buffers are important in biological studies, as a steady hydrogen concentration is of great importance in most scientific studies. One of these buffers is 1,3-bis(tris(hydroxymethyl)methylamino)propane (BTP), which, considering its structure, has complexing capabilities, as previously shown for other metals. In order to know the stability constants for Cd(II) or Pb(II) with BTP, glass electrode potentiometry and direct current polarography studies were carried out. Our results show that both metals form metal complexes, with Pb(II) forming stronger complexes with BTP as evidenced by its higher stability constants. In the Pb-BTP system, five species were described; PbHL, PbL, PbL2, PbL2(OH), and PbL2(OH)2, and their stability constants were determined to be 11.4 ± 0.3, 4.7 ± 0.3, 8.8 ± 0.2, 14.4 ± 0.3, and 18.4 ± 0.3, respectively. For the Cd-BTP system, four complexes were detected; CdHL, CdL, CdL(OH), and CdL(OH)2, and their stability constants were also determined as 10.9 ± 0.4, 4.10 ± 0.07, 8.2 ± 0.2, and 10.9 ± 0.2, respectively. These complexes decrease considerably the amount of free metal in solution within the buffering pH range. This fact should be considered when planning experiments were BTP and Pb(II) and/or Cd(II) ions are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3354-3370
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Coordination Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2014


  • Biological buffer
  • Metal complexation
  • Metal depletion
  • Speciation simulations
  • Stability constants


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