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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.043
Transformation of dissolved organic matter in a constructed wetland: A molecular-level composition analysis using pyrolysis-gas chromatography mass spectrometry
Jongkwan Park1, Mijin Choi1, Jaeweon Cho1, and Kyongmi Chon2
1School of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
2Chemical Safety Division, Department of Agro-Food Safety & Crop Protection, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Wanju-gun 55365, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Kyongmi Chon ,Tel: +82-63-238-3252 , Fax: +82-63-238-3837, Email: gracechkm@gmail.com
Received: January 23, 2018;  Accepted: April 2, 2018.
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ABSTRACT
This study investigated the transformation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a free-water surface flow constructed wetland. Pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) coupled with preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (prep-HPLC) was used to analyze the compositions of biopolymers (polysaccharides, amino sugars, proteins, polyhydroxy aromatics, lipids and lignin) in DOM according to the molecular size at three sampling points of the water flow: inflow, midflow, and outflow. The prep-HPLC results verified the decomposition of DOM through the decrease in the number of peaks from three to one in the chromatograms of the sampling points. The Py-GC/MS results for the degradable peaks indicated that biopolymers relating to polysaccharides and proteins gradually biodegraded with the water flow. On the other hand, the recalcitrant organic fraction (the remaining peak) in the outflow showed a relatively high concentration of aromatic compounds. Therefore, the ecological processes in the constructed wetland caused DOM to become more aromatic and homogeneous. This indicated that the constructed wetland can be an effective buffer area for releasing biochemically stable DOM, which has less influence on biological water quality indicators, e.g., biochemical oxygen demand, into an aquatic ecosystem.
Keywords: Biopolymer | Dissolved organic matter | Preparative high-performance liquid chromatography | Pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry | Surface flow constructed wetland
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