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Molecular analysis of macromolecular geo-organic matter

Project Member(s): Evans, L.

Start year: 2001

Summary: Humic substances are the materials that form in soils and other environments mainly from plant decomposition products. We have made a breakthrough in understanding their detailed molecular composition by treating them as host guest complexes. After removing guests, a molecular weight fraction (40,000 - 50,000 Daltons) appears to be molecularly homogeneous and ubiquitous in the environment. A vast amount of detail is available from close examination of aromatic or other spectral regions at high resolution. We propose the first analysis of a humic substance at the detailed level achieved for other biomacromolecules.

Keywords: Organic geochemistry; Soils; Spectroscopy; Humic substances

FOR Codes: Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified, Other, Chemical Characterisation of Materials