Comprehensive reduction of oxygen-containing functional groups to identify DOM structure

Refractory Dissolved Organic Matter (RDOM) is a pool of reduced carbon resistant to both biodegradation as well as structural elucidation. Recent advances in analytical chemistry (FTICR-MS, 2D-NMR) have provided the most in depth characterization of RDOM to date, yet individual compounds have still not been identified. In this project we are laying the groundwork for the utilizing 2-D GCxGC time-of-flight mass spectrometry (2-D TOF MS) in identifying specific compounds of RDOM. To this end, we have applied a complete reduction technique to a chemical proxy, Suwannee River Fulvic Acid. This transformation, done to make the products GC amenable, has been found to produce a wide range of catalyst concentration dependant compounds. The resolving power of the 2-D TOF MS has allowed us to identify suites of alkylbenzenes as well as linear, branched and cyclic alkanes. In combination with previous method development work, this data allows us to make strong inferences into the complex chemical structure of pre-reduced Suwannee River Fulvic Acid.