The synthesis of the electronic and infrared spectra of di-2-pyridyl ketone salicyloylhydrazone (DPKSH) and di-2-pyridyl ketone benzoylhydrazone (DPKBH) is reported. Ultraviolet absorption spectra have been applied for determining the dissociation constants: DPKSH, pK<sub>1</sub> = 3.5 and pK<sub>2</sub> = 6.85; DPKBH, pK<sub>1</sub> = 2.75 and pK<sub>2</sub> = 10.6. These pK<sub><i>a</i></sub> values are interpreted as a function of the ortho-position of the OH group. Chelating properties of both tridentate ligands have been investigated. DPKSH forms a larger number of metal chelates in acidic media than does DPKBH. Also, it is concluded that DPKSH is a more suitable compound than DPKBH to preconcentrate and to determine heavy metal ion traces as it is inferred from the data obtained by flame AAS.
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