Report

Imaging of Humic Substance Macromolecular Structures in Water and Soils

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1335-1337
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1335

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Humic substances (HSs) are the natural organic polyelectrolytes formed from the biochemical weathering of plant and animal remains. Their macromolecular structure and chemistry determine their role in biogeochemical processes. In situ spectromicroscopic evidence showed that the HS macromolecular structures (size and shape) vary as a function of HS origin (soil versus fluvial), solution chemistry, and the associated mineralogy. The HSs do not simply form coils in acidic or strong electrolyte solutions and elongated structures in dilute alkaline solutions. The macromolecular structural changes of HSs are likely to modify contaminant solubility, biotransformation, and the carbon cycle in soils and sediments.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: smyneni{at}princeton.edu

View Full Text