Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > Analytical Studies of a Complex Organic Material, Fulvic Acid: 1) Functional Group Analysis 2) Organic Pollutant Binding Studies

Aquatic fulvic acid, the soluble organic material of natural waters that is not extractable into organic solvents and that remains dissolved on acidification with mineral acid, is believed to be a complex mixture of natural products, and to be responsible for the binding and transport of many non-polar organic pollutants. My research objective is to better understand the composition of fulvlc acid, be able to identify differences and similarities between fulvic acids obtained from different sources, as well as to identify chemical properties believed responsible for the binding of organic pollutants. During the time spent doing research I found that there were four separate and distinct phases associated with my work . For this reason I have chosen to divide my report into four sections. Section 1 is an introduction as well as a description of preliminary experiments chosen to help determine the direction my research should take. Section 2 presents methods of functional group analyses chosen to characterize fulvic acid. Section 3 is an expanded version of one specific method for micro determination of carboxyl groups in fulvic acid. (Sections 2 and 3 are research papers submitted for publication and are included in my report.) The final section, section 4, is work related to binding studies associated with fulvic acid. I have also presented a summary of my work in hopes of helping the reader to understand the relationship existing between each section.