Characterization of humic substances in highly polluted river sediments by pyrolysis methylation–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

Abstract : Humic substances were extracted from two sediment cores sampled in a river on the outskirts of a large city (Deûle near Lille, France) and in its highly polluted oxbow-lake. Humic acids (HA) were characterized by infrared spectroscopy and in situ pyrolysis/methylation–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The main results are the substantial aliphaticity of HA in the oxbow-lake at all depths, mainly due to the presence of a lipid fraction associated with the HA structure. The abundance of sterols in this fraction implies that lipids could originate from the accumulation of sewage in the oxbow-lake. Humic acids of the Deûle sediments show a different trend ; their evolution is characterized by a decrease of the pollutant inputs with increasing depth. The results demonstrate the efficiency of Py–GC–MS in identifying the different organic contributions to HA and in distinguishing natural from anthropogenic sources.
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Laurence Mansuy, Yassine Bourezgui, Evelyne Garnier-Zarli, Emilie Jarde, Véronique Réveillé. Characterization of humic substances in highly polluted river sediments by pyrolysis methylation–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Organic Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2001, 32 (2), pp.223-231. ⟨10.1016/S0146-6380(00)00169-8⟩. ⟨hal-01760398⟩

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