Nitrosation and nitration of fulvic acid, peat and coal with nitric acid

PLoS ONE
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Abstract

Nitrohumic acids, produced from base extraction of coals and peats oxidized with nitric acid, have received considerable attention as soil ammendments in agriculture. The nitration chemistry however is incompletely understood. Moreover, there is a need to understand the reaction of nitric acid with natural organic matter (NOM) in general, in the context of a variety of environmental and biogeochemical processes. Suwannee River NOM, Suwannee River fulvic acid, and Pahokee Peat fulvic acid were treated with 15N-labeled nitric acid at concentrations ranging from 15% to 22% and analyzed by liquid and solid state 15N NMR spectroscopy. Bulk Pahokee peat and Illinois #6 coal were also treated with nitric acid, at 29% and 40% respectively, and analyzed by solid state 15N NMR spectroscopy. In addition to nitro groups from nitration of aromatic carbon, the 15N NMR spectra of all five samples exhibited peaks attributable to nitrosation reactions. These include nitrosophenol peaks in the peat fulvic acid and Suwannee River samples, from nitrosation of phenolic rings, and N-nitroso groups in the peat samples, from nitrosation of secondary amides or amines, the latter consistent with the peat samples having the highest naturally abundant nitrogen contents. Peaks attributable to Beckmann and secondary reactions of the initially formed oximes were present in all spectra, including primary amide, secondary amide, lactam, and nitrile nitrogens. The degree of secondary reaction product formation resulting from nitrosation reactions appeared to correlate inversely with the 13C aromaticities of the samples. The nitrosation reactions are most plausibly effected by nitrous acid formed from the reduction of nitric acid by oxidizable substrates in the NOM and coal samples.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nitrosation and nitration of fulvic acid, peat and coal with nitric acid
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0154981
Volume 11
Issue 5
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Public Library of Science
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description e0154981: 20 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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