Geochemical modelling and speciation studies of metal pollutants present in selected water systems in South Africa

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Metal pollutants in water poses great threats to living beings and hence requires to be monitored regularly to avoid loss of lives. Various analytical methods are available to monitor these pollutants in water and can be improved with time. Modelling of metal pollutants in any water system helps chemists, engineers and environmentalists to greatly understand the various chemical processes in such systems. Water samples were collected from waste water treatment plant and river from highlands close to its source all the way to the ocean as it passing through areas with high anthropogenic activities. Pre-concentration of pollutants in the samples was done through acid digestion and metal pollutants were analysed using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectra (ICP-OES) to determine the concentration levels. Metal concentrations ranged between 0.1356-0.4658 mg/L for Al; 0.0031-0.0050 mg/L for Co, 0.0019-0.0956 mg/L for Cr; 0.0028-0.3484 mg/L for Cu; 0.0489-0.3474 mg/L for Fe; 0.0033-0.0285 mg/L for Mn; 0.0056-0.0222 mg/L for Ni; 0.0265-0.4753 mg/L for Pb and 0.0052-0.5594 mg/L for Zn. Modelling work was performed using PHREEQC couple with Geochemist's workbench (GWB) to determine speciation dynamics and bioavailability of these pollutants. Modelling thus adds value to analytical methods and hence a better complementary tool to laboratory-based experimental studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Bioavailability
  • Metal pollutants
  • Modelling
  • Speciation
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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