High pressure size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) determination of dissolved organic matter molecular weight revisited: Accounting for changes in stationary phases, analytical standards, and isolation methods

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We reassessed the molecular weight of dissolved organic matter (DOM) determined by high pressure size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) using measurements made with different columns and various generations of polystyrenesulfonate (PSS) molecular weight standards. Molecular weight measurements made with a newer generation HPSEC column and PSS standards from more recent lots are roughly 200 to 400 Da lower than initial measurements made in the early 1990s. These updated numbers match DOM molecular weights measured by colligative methods and fall within a range of values calculated from hydroxyl radical kinetics. These changes suggest improved accuracy of HPSEC molecular weight measurements that we attribute to improved accuracy of PSS standards and changes in the column packing. We also isolated DOM from wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) using XAD-8, a cation exchange resin, and PPL, a styrene-divinylbenzene media, and observed little difference in molecular weight and specific UV absorbance at 280 nm (SUVA280) between the two solid phase extraction resins, suggesting they capture similar DOM moieties. PPR DOM also showed lower SUVA280 at similar weights compared to DOM isolates from a global range of environments, which we attribute to oxidized sulfur in PPR DOM that would increase molecular weight without affecting SUVA280.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title High pressure size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) determination of dissolved organic matter molecular weight revisited: Accounting for changes in stationary phases, analytical standards, and isolation methods
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b04401
Volume 52
Issue 2
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher ACS
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 9 p.
First page 722
Last page 730