The naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic NOM samples from the International Humic Substances Society has been characterized by solid state CP/MAS 15N NMR. Soil samples include humic and fulvic acids from the Elliot soil, Minnesota Waskish peat and Florida Pahokee peat, as well as the Summit Hill soil humic acid and the Leonardite humic acid. Aquatic samples include Suwannee River humic, fulvic and reverse osmosis isolates, Nordic humic and fulvic acids and Pony Lake fulvic acid. Additionally, Nordic and Suwannee River XAD-4 acids and Suwannee River hydrophobic neutral fractions were analyzed. Similar to literature reports, amide/aminoquinone nitrogens comprised the major peaks in the solid state spectra of the soil humic and fulvic acids, along with heterocyclic and amino sugar/terminal amino acid nitrogens. Spectra of aquatic samples, including the XAD-4 acids, contain resolved heterocyclic nitrogen peaks in addition to the amide nitrogens. The spectrum of the nitrogen enriched, microbially derived Pony Lake, Antarctica fulvic acid, appeared to contain resonances in the region of pyrazine, imine and/or pyridine nitrogens, which have not been observed previously in soil or aquatic humic substances by 15N NMR. Liquid state 15N NMR experiments were also recorded on the Elliot soil humic acid and Pony Lake fulvic acid, both to examine the feasibility of the techniques, and to determine whether improvements in resolution over the solid state could be realized. For both samples, polarization transfer (DEPT) and indirect detection (1H-15N gHSQC) spectra revealed greater resolution among nitrogens directly bonded to protons. The amide/aminoquinone nitrogens could also be observed by direct detection experiments.
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N-15 NMR spectra of naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic natural organic matter samples of the International Humic Substances Society