Preparative free-flow electrophoresis was found to be an efficient method of conducting large-scale fractionations of the natural organic polyelectrolytes occurring in many surface waters and soils. The method of free-flow electrophoresis obviates, the problem of adsorption upon a supporting medium and permits the use of high potential gradients and currents because of an efficient cooling system. Separations were monitored by determining organic carbon concentration with a dissolved carbon analyzer, and color was measured by absorbance at 400 nanometers. Organic materials from waters and soils were purified by filtration, hydrogen exchange, and dialysis and were concentrated by freeze drying or freeze concentration. In electrophoretic fractionations of natural organic materials typically found in surface waters and soils, color was found to increase with the charge of the fraction.
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Preparative free-flow electrophoresis as a method of fractionation of natural organic materials