SREL Reprint #2000





Aqueous Polynuclear Aluminum Species

Paul M. Bertsch and David R. Parker


The hydrolytic products of Al are believed to be important in mineral phase formation and transitions, in the mobility of Al in soils and aquatic systems, and in the toxicity of Al to plants and aquatic organisms.1-9 In addition to their potential significance natural systems, polynuclear forms of Al are known to be important in water treatment applications, as a primary constituent in several pharmaceuticals, and as a principal component in certain catalysts.10-15 Aluminum may also be directly or indirectly involve in a number of human health disorders, including dialysis dementia, senile and presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type, osteodystrophy, and osteomalocia; 16,17 only recently have polynuclear complexes been considered in this context18
The purposes of this chapter are to provide an overview of the hydrolytic reactions of Al in aqueous solutions, to present the salient features of polynuclear Al structures, to evaluate current methods of detecting and quantifying polynuclear forms of Al, to discuss the mechanisms of their formation, and finally, to discuss certain implications of the polynuclear Al species to soil-water systems.

SREL Reprint #2000

Bertsch, P.M. and D.R. Parker. 1996. Aqueous polynuclear aluminum species. p. 117-168. In The Environmental Chemistry of Aluminum, edited by G. Sposito. 2nd ed.,CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

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