Pyrolysis-GC-FTIR for structural elucidation of aquatic humic substances

Rüdiger Kuckuk, Wieland Hill, P. Burba, A. N. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Substructure components of various aquatic humic substances were investigated by a coupled pyrolysis - gas chromatography - Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (Py-GC-FTIR) procedure. The humic substances studied gave similar pyrolysis products, but in varying proportions. Many of the pyrolysis products (e.g. methanol, acetone, alkylbenzenes, cyclopentane, aliphatic and aromatic organic acids, acetamide, pyrrole and phenols) could be identified by their FTIR spectra using a digital library for automatic comparison. Some of the compounds are related to lignin fragments which form a large part of the humic substances investigated. Other products give hints to the involvement of tetrapyrroles, fatty acids, furanoses and amino compounds in the structure of humic macromolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalFresenius' Zeitschrift für Analytische Chemie
Issue number7-9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


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