Our previous study indicated the existence of some low molecular weight contaminants in separated fractions (F1 to F4) of alkaline-oxygen stage waste liquor by spectroscopic analysis. In the present study, the quantities of these compounds were determined by capillary electropheresis (CE). Substantial amounts of oxalate and acetate were found in F3. The complexes between Al and oxalate as well as F3 were characterized by 27Al-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and the spectra of Al-oxalate complexes demonstrated the ability of oxalate to chelate Al and to produce different forms of complexes at varied molar ratios. Plant growth experiments in the presence of Al-oxalate complexes suggested that at a proper range, oxalate has a favorable effect on the detoxification of Al toxicity. It can be assumed that oxalate in F3 also plays an important role in the efficiency of removing Al toxicity. 27Al-NMR was proved to be a useful method for the study of complexes between Al and organic compounds without disturbing their equilibrium conditions.
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