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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Kalbitz, K; Geyer, S; Geyer, W: A comparative characterization of dissolved organic matter by means of original aqueous samples and isolated humic substances, Chemosphere, 40, 1305-1312 (2000)
The aim of our study was to test the use of less time-consuming spectroscopic methods applied on original water samples in order to obtain information about DOM composition without any sample preparation. These results were directly compared with results from a conventional isolation and characterization procedure of dissolved humic substances (fulvic acids - FA) isolated from the same water sample. FAs were characterized by UV-, fluorescence-, FTIR spectroscopy and elemental composition. UV absorbance and fluorescence behaviour of FAs and original water samples follow the same pattern. A lower UV absorbance and a lower humification index (derived from the synchronous fluorescence spectra) of about 15% is typical for water samples compared to the FAs. We computed linear relationships between properties of the original water sample (UV-, synchronous fluorescence spectra) and the isolated FA (IR absorption, C/N ratio). The application of synchronous fluorescence and UV spectroscopy of aqueous samples has been proved to result in similar information about DOM composition as the characterization of isolated humic substances concerning the content of aromatic structures and the degree of humification.
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