Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 17(1), 77 (2001).

Chemical Characterization of Organic Carbon Dissolved in Natural Waters Using Inorganic Adsorbents
School of Humanities for Environmental Policy and Technology, Himeji Institute of Technology, Shinzaike-Honcho, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0092, Japan
Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in water samples from Lake Biwa was chemically characterized by two inorganic adsorbents with completely different surface characteristics. The two adsorbents were HIO (hydrous iron oxide) and SG (silica gel). Solutions of reference standard materials were analyzed concerning their adsorption behavior to HIO and SG for bovine serum albumin (BSA), fulvic acid extracted from the bottom sediments of Lake Biwa, phthalic acid, and starch. The adsorption of DOC to HIO was mainly controlled by ligand exchange and electrostatic interaction; that of SG was by electrostatic interaction. It was found that in a weak acid solution of around pH 5, BSA adsorbs to both HIO and SG, but that fulvic acid, phthalic acid and starch only show adsorption to HIO. Using these characteristics, DOC samples in natural water samples were characterized into pro-DOC, which adsorbs to both HIO and SG at pH 5, and car-DOC, which only adsorbs to HIO at pH 5. The DOC samples in Lake Biwa on October 7, 1997, at sampling sites Nb-2 and Nb-5 (south basin of Lake Biwa, the depths were about 2 and 4 m), and Ie-1 (north basin of Lake Biwa, the depth was about 75 m) were characterized. The pro-DOC has different values, depending on their sampling sites and depths, and had the maximum value of 0.42 mg C l-1 at the surface water of Ie-1, and had the lowest values at middle to deeper water depths (0.18 - 0.27 mg C l-1). The car-DOC showed a relatively stable value at Ie-1 regardless of the depth (0.63 - 0.83 mg C l-1), and the maximum value was observed in Nb-2 and Nb-5 (1.2 and 1.3 mg C l-1). The ratios between car-DOC and pro-DOC concentrations were 0.2 - 0.5, and had different values for different sampling sites and depths. The ratios were significantly different for surface water samples where the biological activities are high and for bottom water samples where decomposition predominates.