Analytical method for dissolved-organic carbon fractionation

Water-Resources Investigations Report 79-4
By:  and 



A standard procedure for analytical-scale dissolved organic carbon fractionation is presented, whereby dissolved organic carbon in water is first fractionated by a nonionic macroreticular resin into acid, base, and neutral hydrophobic organic solute fractions, and next fractionated by ion-exchange resins into acid, base, and neutral hydrophilic solute fractions. The hydrophobic solutes are defined as those sorbed on a nonionic, acrylic-ester macroreticular resin and are differentiated into acid, base, and nautral fractions by sorption/desorption controlled by pH adjustment. The hydrophilic bases are next sorbed on strong-acid ion-exchange resin, followed by sorption of hydrophilic acids on a strong-base ion-exchange resin. Hydrophilic neutrals are not sorbed and remain dissolved in the deionized water at the end of the fractionation procedure. The complete fractionation can be performed on a 200-milliliter filtered water sample, whose dissolved organic carbon content is 5-25 mg/L and whose specific conductance is less than 2,000 μmhos/cm at 25°C. The applications of dissolved organic carbon fractionation analysis range from field studies of changes of organic solute composition with synthetic fossil fuel production, to fundamental studies of the nature of sorption processes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Analytical method for dissolved-organic carbon fractionation
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 79-4
DOI 10.3133/wri794
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description iii, 16 p.
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