Liquid state, high resolution 13C NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry were used to study the composition and structure of soil organic matter (SOM) using soil extracts from two long-term experiments at the Rothamsted Experimental Station. Both one- and two-dimensional NMR techniques were applied. 13C NMR sub-spectra of the CHn (n=0...3) groups, obtained by the Distortionless Enhancement by Polarisation Transfer (DEPT) technique, were used for the elucidation of the qualitative and quantitative composition of humic and fulvic acids in the soils. The chemical structure of SOM was further analysed at the molecular level through Fast Atom Bombardment Mass Spectrometry (FABMS) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Humic and fulvic extract results were not only compared to each other, but also to the solid state 13C NMR results for the complete soil sample.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.