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Chelation

Chelation is the process of reversible binding (complexation) of a ligand, the chelant, chelator, chelating agent, sequestering agent, or complexing agent, to a metal ion, forming a metal complex, the chelate.

The term is generally reserved for complexes in which the metal ion is bound to two or more atoms of the chelating agent, although the bonds may be any combination of coordination or ionic bonds.

Most metal complexes in the environment and in nature are bound in some form of chelate ring, e.g. with "humic acid" or a protein.

Thus, metal chelates are relevant to the mobilization of metals in the soil, the uptake and the accumulation of metals into plants and micro-organisms.

Selective chelation of heavy metals is relevant to bioremediation.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Chelation", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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