Chelation

Chelation is a process in which a polydentate ligand bonds to a metal ion, forming a ring. The complex produced by this process is called a chelate, and the polydentate ligand is referred to as a chelating agent. The term chelate was first applied in 1920 by Sir Gilbert T. Morgan and H.D.K. Drew, who stated: “The adjective chelate, derived from the great claw or chela (chely- Greek) of the lobster or other crustaceans, is suggested for the caliperlike groups which function as two associating units and fasten to the central atom so as to produce heterocyclic rings.” As the name implies, chelating ligands have high affinity for metal ions relative to ligands with only one binding group (which are called monodentate = “single tooth”) ligands. Both Ethylenediamine and Ethylenediaminetetraaceticacid acid are examples of chelating agents.

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