Characterization of dissolved organic matter in water using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: implication for chemical composition and effects of water sources
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Dissolved organic matter (DOM) from several freshwater sources (Hinkson Creek upstream and downstream of the City of Columbia, Missouri River, landfill leachate, and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)) was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The goal was to identify major chemical compound classes, such as carboxylic acid, amide, ester, and aliphatic and aromatic characteristics in water samples from different sources. Results showed that samples from the city landfills contained the highest concentration of aromatic and protein-like compounds, while samples from WWTP contained more acids and hydrophilic fraction. It appeared that for freshwaters, the DOM inputs from the surroundings had a significant effect on the DOM chemical composition. The study demonstrated that coupling FTIR with XPS analyses could provide insights into the physicochemical and biogeochemical characteristics of DOM in different aquatic systems, as well as the characteristics of the environments from which the DOMs were derived.