A scheme is presented which used adsorption chromatography with pH gradient elution and size-exclusion chromatography to concentrate and separate hydrophobic organic acids from water. A review of chromatographic processes involved in the flow scheme is also presented. Organic analytes which appear in each aqueous fraction are quantified by dissolved organic carbon analysis. Hydrophobic organic acids in a water sample are concentrated on a porous acrylic resin. These acids usually constitute approximately 30-50 percent of the dissolved organic carbon in an unpolluted water sample and are eluted with an aqueous eluent (dilute base). The concentrate is then passed through a column of polyacryloylmorpholine gel, which separates the acids into high- and low-molecular-weight fractions. The high- and low-molecular-weight eluates are reconcentrated by adsorption chromatography, then are eluted with a pH gradient into strong acids (predominately carboxylic acids) and weak acids (predominately phenolic compounds). For standard compounds and samples of unpolluted waters, the scheme fractionates humic substances into strong and weak acid fractions that are separated from the low molecular weight acids. A new method utilizing conductivity is also presented to estimate the acidic components in the methanol fraction.
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USGS Numbered Series
Concentration and fractionation of hydrophobic organic acid constituents from natural waters by liquid chromatography
Water Supply Paper
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