Laser flash photolysis was used to investigate the transients formed on absorption of 355-nm light by dissolved organic matter (DOM) from natural water bodies and from soil. Absorption spectra and quenching studies of the transients provided confirming evidence that hydrated electrons were formed by all of the DOM that were studied. The DOM from the Suwannee River in Georgia and from the Greifensee, a Swiss lake, exhibited great variability in light-absorbing properties. Despite this high variability in absorption coefficients, the primary quantum yields for electron ejection from the Greifensee and Suwannee DOM fell in a narrow range (0.005-0.008). Steady-state irradiations (355 nm) of the DOM with 2-chloroethanol (0.02 M) present as an electron scavenger produced chloride ions with quantum yields that were about 2 orders of magnitude lower than the primary quantum yields. This result indicates that most of the photoejected electrons recombine with cations before escaping into bulk solution. Irradiations of DOM solutions under sunlight (April, latitude 34?? N) photoproduced electrons at rates falling in the range of 0.2-0.4 ??mol/[(mg of DOC) h]. These results indicate that hydrated electrons can play a significant role in the environmental photoreduction of persistent, electronegative pollutants but may be relatively unimportant in the environmental production of hydrogen peroxide. ?? 1987 American Chemical Society.
Additional Publication Details
Photoproduction of hydrated electrons from natural organic solutes in aquatic environments